Contract Talk: Josh Hamilton
At the request of our very own Bob Owens, I thought I would introduce a topic that will be on everyone’s minds soon enough: Josh Hamilton’s upcoming free agency status.
The Texas outfielder is one of the very best stories in the game, having overcome drug and alcohol addiction to win the 2010 MVP award and lead his team to the last two American League pennants. Since resurrecting his career in 2007, Josh Hamilton has hit a tidy .311/.368/.548 while averaging 39 doubles, 33 home runs and 118 RBI per 162 games. And, he becomes a free agent after the 2012 season – a season that has seen him get off to a fast start, OPSing 1.208 through his first 13 games.
So, my question my millions, or 7, adoring fans is this: if you’re Jon Daniels, how much do you offer Josh Hamilton to remain a Ranger.
His abilities as a ballplayer are clear as can be, but it’s the downsides that Daniels will have to weigh before offering Hamilton a crazy deal.
The one that will spring to everyone’s mind is his history of drug and alcohol abuse – and the fact that he has relapsed twice in the last four years.
However, while this isn’t a completely trivial issue, you have to consider that Hamilton has landed on his feet in both cases, apologized for his actions, and has gone on to rake. Heck, this man’s entire life is a “weak moment” and he’s still basically the best player in baseball.
No, what concerns me about Josh Hamilton is the fact that he’s a 31-year old man who has missed 150 games over the last three years.
So, breaking the bank for him is probably unwise. At least I think so – but phenomenal talents like Hamilton tend to bring out the irrational in some folks.
On the other hand, the Rangers know first hand what it’s like to pay a top talent top dollar, watch him perform at an elite level, and still finish in last.
My offer? 5/100, with an option for a 6th year.