Ruben likes to make a splash. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Phillies Reportedly "Quietly Check In" On Josh Hamilton, You Know, Just To See If He's Doing OK

Ruben Amaro likes to make a splash. But if he signs Josh Hamilton as a free agent, he’ll be jumping head first into a pool with no water.

According the Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, quoting “industry sources,” the Phillies have apparently “quietly checked in” on Josh Hamilton.

Perhaps Josh is a little under the weather, and Ruben just wanted to see if he needed anything. You know, maybe some chicken soup or a 7-Up or something. And perhaps they kept it quiet because they were worried their future center fielder, B.J. Upton, might get jealous.

B.J. can be a bit temperamental you know.

Because the Phillies can’t really be quietly checking in on Josh Hamilton for baseball-related reasons, right?

Hamilton would appear to be a stretch, both from a financial and baseball perspective. But two industry sources say the Phillies are quietly checking on him. While their background work might only be due diligence, Amaro loves to make a splash, loves to surprise.

Now, how does one go about “quietly” checking in on someone? Does that someone even know they’re being checked-in on? Did they send someone out in disguise, change cabs a few times on the way, and use a secret code to let everyone know when the coast was clear or the jig was up?

Why does the checking need to be so quiet?

And I’ll tell you something else. These “industry sources” Rosenthal referred to certainly don’t seem to understand the whole point of QUIETLY checking in on someone. If this checking in was supposed to be so quiet, how did these “industry sources” even hear about it?

Of course, the term “industry source” is usually code word for “player’s agent.” Because if it was someone inside Major League Baseball, Rosenthal would have likely quoted him as a “baseball source.”

I guess Ruben just needs to learn who has loose lips.

Rosenthal did say that Hamilton didn’t seem to be a great fit for the Phillies. The reasons for this are numerous, but mainly it’s because he’s about as stable Placido Polanco’s back, has been injured on numerous occasions over the last few years, bats left-handed, and goes through stretches where he couldn’t hit the baseball if you gave him a tennis racket and pitched it underhand to him.

The fit isn’t great; the Phils frankly need a right-handed hitter more than another left-handed one. On the other hand, Hamilton had an .853 OPS against lefties last season. Upton, a right-handed hitter, was at .792.

The final word: Phillies general partner David Montgomery is probably too image-conscious to seriously consider Hamilton, and the team already has $135.6 million committed for next season, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

So, at the end of the day, this is all probably just a way for Hamilton’s agent to let everyone know that one of baseball’s biggest spenders is interested in his client.

Still, would it surprise me one iota if Amaro went ahead and signed Hamilton to a 6-year deal worth about $289 jillion?

It would not.

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