Josh Hamilton rumors: Could Hamilton head to ... the Pirates?

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Could the star free agent sign with the Bucs?

In one word: No.

In five words: No, no, no, no, no.

But that didn't stop CBS Sports' Jon Heyman from mentioning the Pirates in a column about Hamilton on Wednesday.

One executive speculated that the Pirates and Braves might also make some sense, though those teams normally aren't major spenders ...

One Pirates person suggested that would probably fall into the category of a "dream," suggesting the chances for them were remote.

The next time the Pirates are serious players for a free agent like this will be the first. I wouldn't put it past them to make an offer -- there's no real harm in floating a figure that Hamilton will surely reject. It's good PR. But the Pirates simply don't have the firepower to sign a player like this.

Moreover, it's an open question whether it would even be smart for the Pirates to pursue someone like Hamilton. He'll be 32 next May. He very probably has at least a few more good years left, but he'll also cost over $100 million on the free agent market. If the Pirates were to sign Hamilton to, say, a six-year deal, they might well be in serious trouble by the time the deal was over. The Bucs don't have much of a margin of error with these kinds of signings, and long contracts for players in their 30s generally don't work out well.

In any case, this is more of an amusement than anything else. The Pirates won't be serious bidders.

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