Mariners meet with Josh Hamilton at Winter Meetings

Ezra Shaw

Could Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik be exploring the possibility of signing one of the most coveted bats on the free agent market?

Seattle Mariners officials met with free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton at baseball's Winter Meetings on Sunday and are at least exploring the possibility of signing him, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal and John Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

The 31-year-old outfielder is arguably the most coveted free agent bat on the market and was rumored to be seeking a seven-year, $175 million contract earlier this offseason although it is unlikely he'll receive such a deal. Seattle joins the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers as the three identified teams in the mix for the slugger, but several other unidentified teams have reportedly met with him in Nashville. Hamilton's former club is rumored making the hardest push to lock up his services for the next few years.

Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle suggests that if Hamilton is going to base his decision on whichever team is the highest bidder, the Mariners likely fall short in their pursuit of the slugger.

Hamilton hit .285, with 42 home runs and 128 RBI for the Rangers last season.

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