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.
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.
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.
mark trumbo 2nd half .227./271/.359/.630
Seems comparable to Hamilton’s second-half decline. I just don’t think we’ll be signing Hamilton, is all.
Hamilton 2nd half .259/.323/.510/.833
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.
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
Agreed. The two aren’t really comparable.
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.
I agree that the angels won’t be in on him.. but it has nothing to do with trumbo
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,
we already have too many outfielders, already.
I heard on MLB Network that the Phillies will get involved.
Let him walk…. still he goes to the Dodgers
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?
And they want to keep victorino
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.
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.
For anyone who thinks he can’t get over 100 million, remember Werth. Hamilton will get it and will regress due to injury.
Hes been awful the late part of the season…I wonder whats wrong wit his vision.
Red Sox are gonna go crazy on him after losing Gonzalez.
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.
Just wait for Ells.
Hes homegrown though not a free agent.
He will be a free agent though…..
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.
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.
Just like your 2004 squad of Lowe, Schilling, Damon, Ortiz, Ramirez, Arroyo etc. Nice homegrown core
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.
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.
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.
You think they can replicate their season from this year with that starting pitching?
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.
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.
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.
See you in Detroit next year Josh
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.
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 Cubs haven’t rebuilt to the point where adding Hamilton would make sense
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
I don’t know… maybe Cherington wants HIS 9 digit contracts and not one from the previous administration.
hamilton in fenway is really really scary.
Would mean the Jays would need some real pitchers.
So was Gonzalez… We saw how that played out. He did fantastic but his power took a huge dip.
or in Yankee Stadium
He was an assistant GM under theo. He probably helped work on it.
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.
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.
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.
and then no team offers him any contract…..
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.
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].
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
If you were not impressed at all, you need to lower your expectations a bit.
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.
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.
The Mariners have a lot of room in the outfield and they have a lot of money to spend (which they probably won’t)
The Mariners SHOULD try to acquire Hamilton, but I doubt that they will.
If a team wants him they won’t let him take the deal back to Texas. That’s a pipe dream.
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
Yankees, replacing Swisher. Watch.
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.