Hamilton Will Give Texas Chance To Match Any Offer

Josh Hamilton's season came to an unceremonious end last night, as he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a ground ball double play during the Rangers' loss in the AL Wild Card play-in game. After the game, the outfielder told reporters (including Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports) that the odds of him returning to Texas are "50-50," and that he would give the team the chance to match any offer (Twitter links).

"I always would love to stay here," said Hamilton according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas. "They understand that. They know that. When we talked earlier in the year, we didn't get things worked out, so we said we'd wait until the year was over. They obviously get first shot. I told them they'd get first shot at the end of the year. We'll see what happens."

The 31-year-old Hamilton had a remarkable regular season, hitting .285/.354/.577 with 43 home runs in 636 plate appearances. He avoided the DL for the first time since 2008, though he did battle some sinus and vision problems late in the year. Hamilton seemed to indicate that they were still an issue after last night's game, and he finished the season by going 8-for-35 (.229) with 16 strikeouts and no walks in his final eight games and 35 plate appearances.

The two sides discussed a contract extension during Spring Training and into the regular season, but decided to suspend talks in early-August. Hamilton will be the top hitter on the free agent market this winter, though he will be one of the riskiest big-ticket free agents in history given his off-the-field concerns and injury issues. A long-term contract worth $100MM+ is not unreasonable given his production.

69 Responses to Hamilton Will Give Texas Chance To Match Any Offer Leave a Reply

  1. Here is Hamilton’s problem:

    In order to get $100MM, you need to have people competing for you and you need to find a big market team ready to spend money (minus Miami’s big haul last winter). There are only a few teams that would spend that type of money that would be a fit for Josh. San Francisco, Detroit, maybe the White Sox? Yankees aren’t risking his addiction in the big city and are looking to bring their payroll down. Red Sox already said it’s not a fit. Dodgers have 3 outfielders locked up to big contracts. The timing is not right for the Twins to make the move.

    Maybe Baltimore shocks the world after their run this year and signs him to team up with Jones & Markakis in the outfield? Or perhaps Washington decides to get involved? I just don’t see a lot of teams that have $100MM to spend that are going to take chance given Hamilton’s addiction & injury history.

    Edit: Friend just pointed out the Angels, but I’m not convinced they will go that high given their payroll commitments from last off-season. With Artie, you never know though! CJ Wilson was one of his best buds too.

    • mrdelish 3 years ago

      The Angels have a pretty stacked outfield as it is (Trumbo, Trout, and likely a re-signed Hunter). They also have to unload Wells and something would have to happen to Bourjos before they consider signing Hamilton or any other OF.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        mark trumbo 2nd half .227./271/.359/.630

        • mrdelish 3 years ago

          Seems comparable to Hamilton’s second-half decline. I just don’t think we’ll be signing Hamilton, is all.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            Hamilton 2nd half .259/.323/.510/.833

          • mrdelish 3 years ago

            Are you being deliberately obtuse? Both Hamilton and Trumbo had an excellent first half and similarly declined second halves. I don’t see the Angels getting rid of Trumbo in favor of Hamilton for a variety of reasons, much less the slash line alone.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            how do you compare a player who went from 1.+ OPS down to .833

            to a player who regressed to a .271 obp and .359 slugging.

            Hamilton regressed from elite elite to above average… Trumbo regressed from pretty damn good to below replacement player. So stating that the angels wouldn’t go after hamilton because of the presence of trumbo is just silly.

          • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

            Agreed. The two aren’t really comparable.

          • Robb Logan 3 years ago

            Trumbo is cheaper with the albatross Wells contract already in town. No hamilton is not a fit in Anaheim. They need bullpen help, NOT bats. That has been plainly obvious for 3 years now and Dipoto has stated that this time around as well. hamilton will NOT be in Anaheim next season.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            I agree that the angels won’t be in on him.. but it has nothing to do with trumbo

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      The notion that he will only get 100mm+ if teams compete for him is far from true, its about perception, which his agent can create.

      Also there are so many other teams that could theoretically be in on hamilton.

      He may be a risk, but a 5/120 or something similar, for a player of josh’s gifts is something that teams could make happen.

      Orioles, White sox, san fran, phillies, angels, brewers, cardinals, braves, reds, mariners, the list goes on.

      He’ll get money, but I think he stays in texas,

    • $7562574 3 years ago

      we already have too many outfielders, already.

    • Scott 3 years ago

      I heard on MLB Network that the Phillies will get involved.

  2. Mike Simms 3 years ago

    Let him walk…. still he goes to the Dodgers

    • theophilus166 3 years ago

      Kemp and Crawford make 20 million a year, and Ethier makes around 15. They also signed outfielder Yasiel Puig to a 7/42 million deal out of Cuba this season. Why would they sign Hamilton to 20 million plus?

  3. Leachpunk 3 years ago

    It’s funny that people consistently bring up the drug addiction that he had 6+ years ago. He had a “relapse” with alcohol consuming two beers. I don’t know when this sport became so holy, or if it’s just the media churning up drama, but Josh Hamilton will get paid and there will be a big number of teams that want him. Where he is a fit, I am not sure, but there will be a team that takes a chance on him. The biggest worry is his playing time and being prone to some kind of injury. If they play him in LF or RF, then he’ll be less likely to hurt himself, but he doesn’t come with anymore of a risk than a guy who decides to take a performance enhancing drug midway through the season on his way to an “MVP” year and his team making the playoffs.

  4. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

    Actually, I see him in San Francisco. They make payroll space when they really want someone, and they sure need an upgrade on their offense.

  5. Teacherhst 3 years ago

    For anyone who thinks he can’t get over 100 million, remember Werth. Hamilton will get it and will regress due to injury.

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      Hes been awful the late part of the season…I wonder whats wrong wit his vision.

  6. Red Sox are gonna go crazy on him after losing Gonzalez.

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      Unless its a 2-3 year deal, I would hope not. I think the days of $100 million free agent contracts are over in Boston.

      • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

        Just wait for Ells.

      • Rangersalchamps 3 years ago

        I laugh at these type of RS comments. You guys shed a few big contracts and now all of a sudden you’re the next Rays or A’s? Those teams are built around excellent scouts, player development and GM’s. The RS are built around filling holes with money. If you guys don’t plan on spending anymore more then plan on being in the cellar the next 10+ years.

        Boston isn’t built to be a small market team.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          You never will admit what teams Boston has built over the last 45+ years and for good reason.. Solid teams mostly developed from within with core people **developed** by them. Always with the same, generic insults and lame argument that ring hollow with nothing to back them up.

          • Rangersalchamps 3 years ago

            Just like your 2004 squad of Lowe, Schilling, Damon, Ortiz, Ramirez, Arroyo etc. Nice homegrown core

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Over 45 years.. You act as if they have not had one of the finest records of promoting quality players in recent time. Not too mention? Their FS is generally top 10-15 (if not higher) even after using it to acquire players like VMart and Gonzalez, but according to **some** here.. They don’t know how to draft, nor have a decent player development track record and their FO leaders (yes, Player development also) have been coveted around the league for years.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      They didn’t “lose” Gonzalez they traded him to move a couple of other player contracts (mostly beckett) and no reason to add a far side of 30YO guy like Hamilton who isn’t the player Gonzo was and probably will end up like another beckett type deal in a couple of years..

      Hamilton is another Werth type player waiting to happen.. VERY risky and whoever gives him 100m will be regretting it.

      • It was definitely more Crawford than Beckett. And I never said it was a good idea, but they’ve got tons of money coming off the books and two very open outfield spots to fill.

  7. James Welch 3 years ago

    I predict he goes to Baltimore…they are going to be looking to sign a big free agent after their success this year. Baltimore is also not that far from NC where Josh is from.

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      You think they can replicate their season from this year with that starting pitching?

      • Meh Sheep 3 years ago

        The Orioles had the 5th best ERA in the AL after the All-Star break. Only behind Oak, Sea, TB and Det. So yes they can replicate it. Their starting pitchers for the 2nd half were much better since they had changed 3/5 of the roatation. Tillman, Gonzalez, Saunders instead if Arietta, Matusz and Hunter.

        • Tko11 3 years ago

          So you are saying that because they had the 5th best era in the AL after the Allstar break then they can replicate it next season? Look at their rotation…they used Saunders in the elimination game, do you really think hes an ace? Each guy in their rotation had some solid starts for them but none of those guys are really 1s or 2s. It looks like a rotation full of 3-4s.

  8. levendis 3 years ago

    any big market team (NY, BOS, LA) should stay away from him. Cant sign a guy to a 100M+ contract and have to hold his hand so he doesnt get himself into trouble. Especially if he goes to NY or LA, just seems like a bad idea.

  9. See you in Detroit next year Josh

  10. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    All it takes are 2 teams to drive up the price, the yankees, red sox, and even mets could all be in. Dodgers are out, but perhaps the angels could be in but they would have to no resign hunter.

  11. Don’t know if the Rangers will have a chance to keep Josh. I see all the big rich clubs (Yanks, Bosox, Dodgers, Cubs) bidding for him. Imagine how many homers he’d crush in Wrigley Field?

    • the_show 3 years ago

      The Cubs haven’t rebuilt to the point where adding Hamilton would make sense

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      I just don’t see the Sox, yanks, or Dodgers making a serious play for Hamilton. Dodgers already have a full and expensive outfield, if the yanks pay a lot for a player my bet is it’ll be on pitching, and I’m guessing after cleaning house of several major contracts that Cherington won’t want to sign someone to a 9-digit contract.

      • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

        I don’t know… maybe Cherington wants HIS 9 digit contracts and not one from the previous administration.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          hamilton in fenway is really really scary.

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            Would mean the Jays would need some real pitchers.

          • dc21892 3 years ago

            So was Gonzalez… We saw how that played out. He did fantastic but his power took a huge dip.

          • captainjeter 3 years ago

            or in Yankee Stadium

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          He was an assistant GM under theo. He probably helped work on it.

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        Yankees, sox, and dodgers will all at least check in on him, and if he were to say fall to $15M aav they would all guaranteed bid on him. He is assured of a floor of at least that much, and someone will definetely bid higher.

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

          Well yes of course they’ll keep tabs on the bidding. The day the Rangers lose their exclusive window to negotiate Hamilton’s agent will receive probably 20 calls from GMs to at least check in on the price tag.

      • slider32 3 years ago

        On paper these teams all have the resources to sign Josh. The Yanks could let Swisher and Grandy go and sign Hamilton, Ichiro, and Ludwick. Cherrington has done a poor job for the Sox, and might need a few big free agents to save his job. The Sox front office has been a nightmare. Too many panic moves have left the cubbard bare. They need to sign a player like Hamilton and another pitcher. The Dodgers have alot of money to spend. My choice for Hamilton would be the O’s or Nats.

  12. $7562574 3 years ago

    and then no team offers him any contract…..

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      That’s not happening. He hit 40 hr, and while probably not an everyyear thing he still hits at least 30 in a normal year. He is a very good player, even with injury concerns he is elite when healthy.

  13. withpower 3 years ago

    Probably a little off the wall, but what about the Cleveland Indians? They seem to be indicating they are going to keep Choo, they have about $18MM coming off the books in Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore [minus whatever Hafner’s buyout is, if he has one].

    It looks like they want to bring in a veteran manager in Francona [or Sandy Alomar who is a longtime baseball guy even if he hasn’t gotten a top job yet].

    Looking at their roster it appears they gave most of their LF at bats to some combination of Shelley Duncan, Johnny Damon, and Aaron Cunningham. They have some interesting OF prospects [guys like Thomas Neal, Jeremy Tice, Carlos Moncrief] but nothing really jumps out.

    They could clear another $4MM+ by parting ways with Casey Kotchman, Johnny Damon, and Jack Hannahan and giving those jobs to some of the corner IF/DH type guys they have floating around the system [Russ Canzler, Matt LaPorta (yeah, I know), the ghost of Beau Mills, Lonnie Chisenhall, Cord Phelps, etc].

  14. Guest 3 years ago

    Hamilton was not impressive at all this year, he hurt his contract with his second half slump and bad fielding that might have cost the Rangers the division

    • Slopeboy 3 years ago

      If you were not impressed at all, you need to lower your expectations a bit.

    • Meh Sheep 3 years ago

      How many outfielders have more impressive numbers than Hamilton’s .285/.354/.577? Trout, McCutchen, Braun* and ???? True he made 7 errors but without him the Rangers likely don’t make the playoffs at all as they would be behind the Rays and Angels.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      Yes he’s a bad centerfielder, but its not his fault that Ron Washington keeps playing him at CF instead of in a corner where he fits the best defensively. And his bat is still very much elite for a corner outfielder (even after adjusting for Arlington).

      he’s still one of the scariest bats in the AL, even if contact rate is a huge concern going forward as he ages.

  15. macdice 3 years ago

    The Mariners have a lot of room in the outfield and they have a lot of money to spend (which they probably won’t)

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      The Mariners SHOULD try to acquire Hamilton, but I doubt that they will.

  16. NickATL 3 years ago

    If a team wants him they won’t let him take the deal back to Texas. That’s a pipe dream.

  17. Ballfour 3 years ago

    Texas fans don’t worry about losing Hamilton. Coming from a fan who lost Prince Fielder last year. I thought the sky would fall but in fact we scored more runs this year figure that out. Trust Olt trust Profar you’ll be back in the mix next year we all know it

  18. Yankees, replacing Swisher. Watch.

  19. captainjeter 3 years ago

    Yanks, Red Sox and Phillies are not a good fit due to his addications. Not many team are going to want to lay out a 6-7 deal at 22 -25 milion for a injury prone player who needs a “keeper ” 24/7.
    His addications to hard drugs and alcohol are very real. Until recently he also was addicated to chewing tobacco.
    NY, Boston and Philly are too much tempatations for him.
    I see maybe either the Cubs or White Soxs in on him. But, Chicago could also too much tempatation to him. The Tigers , Indians, Royals could be in the mix. Don’t leave out the Nats , Braves, Marniers , Brewers , D Backs and Rockies. The O’s could be in the mix , along with the Jays.

  20. It would really help his cause if the Yankees, Braves or Phillies get involved (which I don’t think they will). That would force teams like Baltimore and Washington to overspend, but they might have to make the move to keep Hamilton away from their competition.

  21. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    that’s a completely unfair statement.

    I think the rangers and their fans will learn how valuable he was to this team after 500 AB’s from Leonys

  22. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

    With the albatross that Jayson Werth is, I doubt Washington gets involved. My guess is he stays in Texas.

  23. Jim C 3 years ago

    I can see the Phillies getting involved. They need to redo their team and their outfield is a weak spot.

  24. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    How much more do you think houston would have to offer for him to leave the rangers

  25. stroh 3 years ago

    Jeff Luhnow has already said the Astros will not be going after Josh Hamilton, although they have plenty of payroll to do so. They are sticking to their plan of building up thru the minor leagues, and when appropriate, adding targeted free agent talent. I think they will go after guys on 1-2 year contracts who are looking to rebuild value. They are a few years away from big ticket players, although they will re-enter that marketplace once they get back to respectability.

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