Poll: Extending Josh Hamilton

When he’s on the field, Josh Hamilton is one of the best players in the game. Hamilton’s five-tool ability has translated into results for a few seasons now and at 29 he leads the American League in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

But Hamilton, who had completed just one full season in the major leagues before this year, has not played since bruising his ribs in early September. Injuries have prevented Hamilton from playing more regularly throughout his career, so questions about his ability to stay on the field would no doubt contribute to the Rangers’ willingness to guarantee tens of millions of dollars. At this point, Rangers GM Jon Daniels tells Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he isn’t worried about extending Hamilton.

"Our only focus as it relates to Josh right now is getting him healthy and back in the lineup," Daniels said. "The contractual stuff will take care of itself."

The Rangers have Hamilton under team control for two seasons after this so they don’t face the same urgency that the Cardinals do with their franchise player. Hamilton won’t cost nearly as much as Albert Pujols, but he’s in a position to demand more than $40MM over four years, no small amount of money. It’s a good problem to have – how would you address it if you were in Daniels’ position?

Would you offer Josh Hamilton a long-term extension?

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20 Comments on "Poll: Extending Josh Hamilton"


4 years 11 months ago

how is this not a no-brainer? monitor his on-field stuff and conditioning. let him play fewer games or DH him occasionally to preserve the teams best asset. this seems trivial to me.

BravesRed
4 years 11 months ago

Depends on what you mean long-term? 2-3 years, yes. Beyond that, maybe.

The_Porcupine
4 years 11 months ago

All things considered, Hamilton is the type of player that I would want to go year to year with in terms of contract. Get through his arbitration years. See how he does. If you like where he’s at, sign him to a 2 year contract, 3 years top.

The drug addiction history is a concern that I don’t take likely, but I’m more concerned about his physical health. He seems to get busted up a lot and miss major time as a result. Yes you can control his conditioning, rest him, DH him, etc., but the fact remains he’s very injury prone. You can’t extend someone long term at the money he’s going to want with his medical files.

AmericanMovieFan
4 years 11 months ago

Hamilton is so difficult. In some ways I think the team would like to lock him up for 4 years, be done with it and hope for the best. That doesn’t mean he makes top dollar. The Rangers should sit down with Hamilton and give him a choice; go year to year, potentially losing money to relapses and injuries OR take a VERY team friendly extension to secure his financial future, albeit at a much lower rate. That sort of contract, in my mind, would look like this;4 years/$18MM guaranteed w/ escalation clauses every year that could take the total up to $45MM w/ club options for 5th and 6th years at $6MM per guaranteed and up to $15MM per year in escalation clauses.Total POSSIBLE contract: 6 years/$75MM. Total GUARANTEED contract: 4 years/$18MM. Escalation clauses being HR totals, days spent on the active roster, games started, All-Star selection, MVP-ranking bonus, etc.

And of course, out clauses for the team for things such as behavior unbecoming of a major league player; time spent on DL, etc.

Mudhens
4 years 11 months ago

I would certainly extend him but with only one caveat: if he relapses the contract becomes void.

stl_cards16
4 years 11 months ago

What would be Hamilton’s incentive to sign something like that? It’s going to take alot more garaunteed money, if the Rangers won’t, somebody will.

O971
4 years 11 months ago

He’s already being paid 3.3 M There’s no reason to think he can’t get at least twice that if he went to arbitration this year, so I doubt he’d accept 18/4 as a base.

4 years 11 months ago

Hamilton is under team control for 2 more years. The prudent thing to do is play him next year and then evaluate whether to give him anything more than a 3 year deal at the end of 2011 that would buy out his last year of arbitration and give the Rangers 2 additional years.

O971
4 years 11 months ago

Problem is, he probably wouldn’t really have much incentive to sign an extension at that point. There’s a huge difference between hitting the FA market as a 32 year old and a 34 year old.

bringbackericthered
4 years 11 months ago

All you can do is look at him and say What could have been….
For the same reason I think the Reds were so willing to trade him (in my head not actually)
his durability is a huge concern. Can a team like the Rangers lock that much money up in some one with that high of injury risk?

dunnetg
4 years 11 months ago

There was a bit of rumbling in Cincinnati that Hamilton was a problem in the clubhouse. I don’t know the extent of that, but I think the complaints were about special treatment or similar, as he had manager Jerry Narron’s brother as a personal assistant/coach (I think they were friends, and Narron was there to help keep Hamilton on the straight and narrow.) At any rate, the injury concerns seem to have some validity thus far, and are obviously a more immediate problem than if Hamilton has a relapse.

While I understand Cincy making the deal (they desperately needing pitching in ’07 anyway), it would have been something to see a Votto/Hamilton 3-4 for the Reds this year.

bringbackericthered
4 years 11 months ago

That is why I said in my head lol.
I heard a lot of it being a rift between Jr/Dunn and Hamilton.
I just like to think we didn’t get rid of him to appease them.

neoncactus
4 years 11 months ago

I’d wait until after next season, or at least until they are into it. Last year was an off year for him after a great season. If he regresses next year, then you have the chance to re-evaluate the situation. If he has another MVP type season, then he’ll be well worth it. Also, in the mix is what he means to the franchise. Young is getting older and Vlad may get a better offer elsewhere this offseason. Hamilton can be there for several more seasons. He may go with a contract that has some incentives, but no way his agent lets him sign a deal with small guaranteed dollars. And I’m sure he realizes he’s going to have an out clause for the team if he relapses, that’s pretty much a given.

4 years 11 months ago

Sign him to a 4 year/50 million deal, with a clause that if he relapses the Rangers can opt out of the rest of the contract.

airohpue13
4 years 11 months ago

Will someone explain to me why Josh Hamilton is always referred to as a 5-tool player. He doesn’t have a lot of speed and his fielding ability is average at best. It seems like a lot of people like to overuse that 5-tool tag nowadays. Three tool he is, but five is a stretch.

4 years 11 months ago

He’s got plus defense, at a UZR/150 of around 10, I believe. That’s good defense. He’s not going to steal bases, but he’s definitely going to score from second on a single.

He’s more 5-tool than some players that get that moniker.

Backup_Slider
4 years 11 months ago

You’re spot on. There is such a craving for 5-tool guys among those of us who follow baseball that the tag gets thrown around way too loosely. In truth we should be evaluating each tool on a 0 to 1 scale in some increment, then add up the player’s score from all 5 tool ratings to determine their total tool score on a 0 to 5 pt basis, if you will. Instead what happens today is if a guy is really good in 2 or 3 of the tools and is average to just better than average at the other 2 tools (at the peak of their youth in baseball), we credit him as having all 5 tools in full and we overrate his total talent level. And, yes, those are commonly the very same position players that you see near the top of the annual top prospect lists put out by Baseball America and others.

Personally, I wouldn’t enter into a long-term deal with Hamilton because of his past substance abuse problems. While we all would love to see Hamilton’s career path play out with a Disney ending, history teaches us that the odds are overwhelming stacked against it. And insertion of a behavioral-related void clause doesn’t solve the issue for several reasons, including that the clubs must treat substance abuse as an illness and provide the player with the treatment, follow with league policies regarding drug-related suspensions, litigate any attempts to terminate the contract, etc. In short, the Rangers or whoever signs Hamilton won’t be able to simply tear up the contract and walk away from it, and I haven’t even delved into the issue of having to replace his production in the batting order on potentially short notice.

metsfan189
4 years 11 months ago

tests today show hamilton has two fractured ribs so signing him may be a little harder considering he was injured last year too

bosoque
4 years 11 months ago

It’s risky, but what other choice do they have? He’ll get it from someone.

neoncactus
4 years 11 months ago

Exactly. Even with the injury risk, he’s the type of player to build around. Even with injuries, he’s no less reliable than Nelson Cruz and he’s far more reliable than Ian Kinsler. And if you don’t sign him, who is going to be a free agent that can replace his numbers at a lower salary?