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Orioles Open Door to Hamilton



    Getty Images
    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 05: (L-R) Ian Kinsler #5 and Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers talk as they walk out to the field after Hamilton struck out to end the bottom of the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles during the American League Wild Card playoff game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 5, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    It's only window dressing when folks say there's a chance the Texas Rangers will bring back free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton. He's not coming back to Arlington. The chances are like one in a million, and on, Jim Carrey (Lloyd Christmas), that doesn't mean there's a chance.

    So the speculation since October started has been where will Hamilton end up next. Pretty much since the day he dropped that fly ball in Oakland, it's been a slam dunk he wasn't returning. So where could he end up? How about Baltimore.

    The Orioles were already a favorite to land the free agent slugger, and they made things a little more likely this week when they declined an $11 million option on corner infielder Mark Reynolds, a slugger who likes to strike out and take walks.

    So what's that mean for Hamilton? It means former Rangers first baseman Chris Davis will probably move to first permanently from the outfield after a breakout season and open up an outfield spot for Hamilton to slide into, pairing him with Adam Jones and Nick Markakis in the Orioles' outfield. That's not a bad outfield at all, in case you were wondering.

    It makes total sense for the Orioles now, who had money to spend, but now have even more. They want to make a splash and prove 2012 wasn't a fluke, as they took the New York Yankees to the final days of the season in the AL East race before beating the Rangers in the AL Wild Card Game.