Josh Hamilton & Kevin Youkilis

Rangers GM Jon Daniels said earlier in the season that he'd be open to extending Josh Hamilton. Now that the Rangers are under stable ownership and Hamilton is having an MVP-type season, an extension seems like a real possibility. In fact, Tom Verducci of reported this week that Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg would "love" to sign Hamilton to an extension that buys out at least one season of free agency.

Hamilton, now 29, is under team control through 2012, so he isn't scheduled to hit free agency until he's 31. Contracts in baseball are often about precedent, but it's virtually impossible to find comparable players to Hamilton, a first-overall draft choice who struggled with off-field issues and injuries before breaking out as an elite player in his late twenties. But as Verducci points out, Kevin Youkilis' extension could become something of a model for a possible Hamilton deal.

The comparison is far from perfect, of course. Hamilton plays in the outfield, whereas Youkilis is a corner infielder. Hamilton has a spottier injury history, walks less frequently and steals bases more efficiently, but the two players do have much in common.

Both are skilled defenders, late bloomers and power hitters. As the chart below shows, Youkilis had similar numbers through 2008 to the ones Hamilton has now. Youkilis, who finished third in the 2008 MVP voting then had two years remaining before free agency, just like Hamilton will after the 2010 season.

Hamilton & Youk

Though MLBTR generally ignores players' RBI and runs totals, those stats can figure into arbitration hearings, so we've included them here.

Hamilton still has two months to add to his numbers before he goes to arbitration or talks extension with the Rangers, but Youkilis turned his numbers into a four-year $41.125MM deal. Ryan Howard (2006 MVP) and Tim Lincecum (2008-09 Cy Young) turned major awards into record-setting salaries through arbitration, so Hamilton could look for a massive raise through arbitration this winter. But if he and the Rangers talk extension instead of going to arbitration, Hamilton can point to his 2010 season and Youkilis' extension and ask for more than $41.25MM over four years.

32 Responses to Josh Hamilton & Kevin Youkilis Leave a Reply

  1. some weird stuff happing in texas the past few years.. i wouldn’t be surprised if they offer lee and hamilton BIG $$$$$$ contracs with $$$$$ from i dont know…..

  2. MadmanTX 5 years ago

    Ladies and gentlemen…your next MVP: Josh Hamilton. I have no doubt that the new ownership will find the way to extend Josh and retain Cliff Lee during this next off-season. The Yankees and their fans can just kick back and watch these guys keep playing in Arlington and not NY.

  3. I hate to be one of those people, but reading Josh Hamilton doesn’t steal bases as well as Kevin Youkilis made me chuckle.

    • Read that again…”Hamilton has a spottier injury history, walks less frequently and steals bases more efficiently…”

      • jwredsox 5 years ago

        It was changed. 2 hours ago it did say Hamilton stole bases less efficiently.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      Brian Mcgahan Report Card

      Reading Comprehension D-

      • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

        And that D- is giving him the benefit of the doubt lol

      • jwredsox 5 years ago

        Actually he gets an A because there was a typo earlier that said he stole bases less efficiently, not more.

  4. I still think Hamilton is a juicer…

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      …because he’s never tested despite his past use of blow?

    • Congrats to you J. Michael Warren for making a completely useless comment about “juice”.

    • craigatbat 5 years ago

      The key words to J. Michael’s comment above are “I still think..” It is obvious that he should stop that process. The thinking part of Michael’s comment is seriously flawed.

      • nhsox 5 years ago

        The MLB’s steroid testing is far from perfect; nobody should be as naive to believe that steroids are not a part of every professional sport to some degree. A few warning signs come to mind:
        1) Mark McGwire was taking “Andro” the drug to cover up steroids in urine tests throughout the 1990’s.
        2) Many reports during the Balco investigation suggested that measures have been (and will be) taken to keep steroids from showing up during screening.
        3) Alex Rodriquez’s positive tests were particularly stunning because he didn’t “look” like a meat-head steroid abuser because he had taken steroids that would keep his body lean while giving him the same steroidal advantage.

        As a side note, Kevin Youkilis’ freak hand muscle injury should be raising more red flags. Unprecedented muscle and tendon injuries are often derived from steroid abuse.

        I’m not saying that either guy is on steroids; I’d like to hope that both are clean. It’s just unreasonable to belittle someone for thinking a power hitter in the post steroid era might be juicing. I’d be willing to bet you have no idea what steroid designers are developing and how far testing is from being able to detect new products. Before you go making yourself out to be some brilliant tough guy, do yourself a favor and think it over first.

        • jwredsox 5 years ago

          Are you a doctor to prescribe that Youk’s hand injury is that rare and a freak injury? How about Utley and his thumb injury? What about Chipper Jones and his ACL tear? Should we just say everyone who has a muscle or tendon injury as being attributed to steroids If you are going to throw one guy under the bus you have to throw them all and it is simply unfair.

          • nhsox 5 years ago

            This should help you: “Unprecedented muscle and tendon injuries are often derived from steroid abuse.”
            The emphasis being on the word “unprecedented”. ACL injuries like Chipper’s happen. They aren’t cause for the same type of concern. Utley hurt his thumb sliding into a base. Again, those types of things happen and HAVE happened before.

            Here’s a quote from, “The injury indeed is a rare one for an athlete. In fact, it’s so rare that Dr. Andrew L. Terrono, chief of hand surgery at New England Baptist Hospital, doesn’t think he’s seen this in the 25 years he has specialized in hand surgery.”

            As I’m sure you remember from rampant steroid use in the late 90’s, players had “freak” injuries at an alarming rate, hence why this caught my eye. The fact that specialists are dumbfounded by this injury doesn’t bode well for a baseball player in the post steroid era. ESPECIALLY when they’re a former workout partner of known steroid abuser, Manny Ramirez.

            As for your doctor remark. I am not a doctor, but I have asked my friends who are anesthesiologists their opinion on Youk’s injury. They thought it seemed suspicious and plan to ask a hand specialist they know about a possible link to steroids. I am still awaiting a verdict. Of course, I don’t have to be a doctor to prescribe the injury as “rare and freak” because THE RED SOX DOCTORS ALREADY HAVE.

            In sum, I didn’t say Youk is guilty and your other examples are too loosely correlated to his case to be relevant. There is enough evidence out there to at least raise suspicion about possible drug use, and it would be incredibly naive not to take the possibility seriously.

  5. moonraker45 5 years ago

    I think the youk deal would have to be a minimum for Hamilton, he should be looking for and command an 5 year deal worth around 60-75 million

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      You missed the whole point of being arb-eligible and precedent.

      • moonraker45 5 years ago

        I get the comparison, I’m merely stating what ‘I think’ will actually happen. Its called an opinion. Maybe one day you’ll have your own instead of just criticizing everyone else’s.

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          So your opinion is that Hamilton should be looking for a contract almost double that of his closest comparison?

          • moonraker45 5 years ago

            So 12-15 mil a year (as i posted) is double 10.3 a year (as youk got) ? good to know.. can i borrow your calculator?

  6. Guest 5 years ago

    I’m kind of curious about what he’s going to ask for either in an extension or an arbitration figure. He has leverage to ask for a big number, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him take a hometown discount to stay in TX. Hamilton is a special case. He hasn’t really said anything about his contract status, but it just seems like $ isn’t his first priority. I don’t think he’ll want to go somewhere else unless TX low-balls him hardcore. Then again, I could be wrong. It’ll be interesting to find out this winter

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      This is the same narrative every fan base says about their players, then once they hit FA and leave it’s “Player X was all about the money, a clubhouse cancer, I didnt’ want him anyways, etc”.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        You may be right. All I’m saying is it’ll be interesting to see what he demands. He very well could demand an unprecedented deal/arbitration figure, but I could also see both him and Nellie Cruz do the opposite and take discounts to stay in TX longterm. Youkilis’ deal seems like a great comp for him though (Hamilton, not Cruz)

        Knowing the Rangers, they’ll make sure he gets paid one way or the other. If Hamilton leaves, fans will go ballistic. No way they take a chance on ruining all the great PR they’ve been getting lately

  7. Youkilis doesen’t come close to Hamilton he should get a bigger contract for around 5 years. But not really enough to pressure him to live up to it

    • how do you figured that.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      Since when? Youkilis and Hamilton, at the same age and roughly same point in their careers, had posted almost identical WAR.

      Hamilton is currently sitting at 14.4 WAR. At age 29, Youkilis was at 14.2. They’re actually pretty similar in terms of actual value. As pointed out by the article, both have advantages over each other (Hamilton has more power and better basrunning, Youkilis gets on base more and has a better injury history). Honestly, Youkilis’ contract, considering the fact the baseball economy hasn’t moved much since it was signed, is a pretty excellent point of comparrison for Hamilton.

  8. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    Hamilton seems like a guy with the potential to lay off on the effort if he gets locked up long-term or at the very least, nagging injuries or even his body breaking down early because of the past drug use. With that said, he mashes and plays hard. He’ll deserve at least $9MM in arb. this year and I know the Rangers will be tempted to buy him out for at least 2 years/$22MM ($9MM, $12MM w/ a $1MM signing bonus) or something. I would go with either year to year’s or a complex deal with that 2 years guaranteed and a vesting option on a third year at $14MM with a club option on a 4th year at $16MM for a total possible contract of 4 years/$52MM. Seems safe for the Rangers while lucrative and fair for Hamilton.

  9. LifeLongYankeeFan 5 years ago

    Ladies and gentlemen…your next MVP: Josh Hamilton. I have no doubt that the new ownership will find the way to extend Josh and retain Cliff Lee during this next off-season. The Yankees and their fans can just kick back and watch these guys keep playing in Arlington and not NY.


    Hmmm that’s interesting because I have never heard Lee say anything about wanting to sign with Texas or play their for the rest of his career have you. If the most amount of money mattered the most anyway Teixeira would be playing for the Red Sox right now but he doesn’t. What team does he play for again I have seemed to have forgotten.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      He also hasn’t ruled it out. Lee will clearly go where the money is, that’s a given. That said, while it’s very probable that the Yankees will offer the most money, the Rangers could very well do so as well. Considering how many young guys the Rangers have, combined with their farm system, they should have the resources to pony up a pretty sizeable contract for Lee. With the state the AL West is in right now, signing Lee could lock them into a stranglehold on the West for the next few years.

      I do honestly believe he’ll go to the Yankees, because they will outbid the next team by a pretty substantial amount (As they did with Sabathia), but let’s not pretend Texas doesn’t have a shot at it, because they do.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      I also love your insinuation that money wasn’t the top motivating factor for Teixeira. Adorably naive.

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