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?