Josh Hamilton: Most Confusing Free Agent Ever?

On Friday, the Rangers season ended, as the team fell to the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Wild Card play-in game. Josh Hamilton, in what will quite possibly be his final at-bat as a Texas Ranger, was booed by the home crowd. From an outside perspective, a break-up seems inevitable. The Rangers — and their fans — seem to just be tired of the Josh Hamilton Experience.

On one hand, the frustration is understandable. Back in May, I wrote a piece noting that Hamilton’s combination of approach and success were historically unique. That he was destroying opposing pitchers while showing the plate discipline of a three-year-old was fascinating. Then opposing pitchers adjusted, they simply stopped him throwing him anything near the plate, and Hamilton went into an epic two month slump. In August, Hamilton rebounded a bit, and he and his coaches both suggested that he’d made the necessary changes to his approach, even though the evidence suggested otherwise.

Not surprisingly, the success didn’t last, and any notion that Hamilton had made any strides with his pitch selection issues were dashed in the final month of the year, as his monthly totals illustrate:


Month PA BB% K% ISO BABIP wRC+
Mar/Apr 96 7% 18% 0.349 0.403 211
May 111 11% 20% 0.438 0.323 202
Jun 107 11% 33% 0.213 0.309 91
Jul 91 9% 23% 0.177 0.175 48
Aug 125 9% 24% 0.265 0.364 148
Sept/Oct 106 9% 35% 0.298 0.320 122

In the final four months of the season, Hamilton struck out 123 times in 429 trips to the plate, a strikeout rate of 28.7%. During that stretch, he hit .245/.322/.487. For comparison, Alfonso Soriano hit .262/.322/.499 this year and only struck out in 24.9% of his plate appearances. While Hamilton blew Soriano away in April and May, the lasting memory of Josh Hamilton to Rangers fans is a four month stretch of baseball where Hamilton was basically Alfonso Soriano. No wonder they’re not banging down the doors to sign up for another five years of that.

And yet, April and May happened too. We can’t just ignore that for the first two months of the season, Hamilton hit .368./.420/.764 and was the best player on the planet. He was the same aggressive swing-at-anything guy then that he’s always been, but he managed to keep his strikeout rate down to just 18.8% and launch 21 homers in 47 games. It obviously wasn’t sustainable, but then again, neither was his July collapse. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle.

And, judged as a whole, Hamilton’s season was actually quite good. He played in 148 games and racked up 636 plate appearances, answering some questions about whether he was too fragile to be an everyday player. In those 148 games, he produced +4.4 WAR, his third straight season posting a +4 win season or better. His 139 wRC+ was slightly higher than his career mark of 135. Even heading into his age-32 season, it’s hard to project him as worse than a +4 win player, and there aren’t a lot of +4 win players just hanging around free agency this year.

Just based on straight production, he’s probably in line for $20-$25 million per year, depending on the length of the deal offered. But, perhaps no premium free agent in recent history came with as many question marks as Hamilton does.

Can he get his strikeout rate back down with his current approach at the plate? Can he learn to stop swinging at pitches two feet off the plate? Is his body up to staying in the outfield, or does he project as a first baseman after another year or two? Do you want to guarantee years beyond age 35 for a guy with a history of addiction?

Hamilton makes Jose Reyes look like a rock of stability, and Reyes had to settle for just $17 million per year even after having a +6 win season at age 28. And, by all accounts, the Mets actually wanted Reyes back. It’s not clear that the Rangers actually do want Hamilton back, given his second half fade and the issues that go along with having him as the foundation of their line-up. And so, it seems like Texas is going to let him see what the market will bear, then decide whether they want to give him a similar deal in order to keep him around. This is the strategy they employed with C.J. Wilson last year, and of course, he ended up in Anaheim.

But, it also seems possible that Josh Hamilton’s market may never develop. This feels a little reminiscent of Andruw Jones after the 2007 season, where Atlanta just tired of his weight gain and underperformance — and he eventually settled for 2/40 from the Dodgers after teams decided that the risks weren’t worth the reward. Jones’ 85 wRC+ that year also had something to do with it, of course, and Hamilton will certainly do better than 2/40, but how much better is something of an open question. His track record and age suggest that a long term deal is probably not a great idea, so even an aggressive suitor is probably going to top out at five years, and there very well may not be an aggressive suitor for Josh Hamilton this winter. The Yankees don’t seem to need him. The Red Sox seem unlikely to take a big bet on another potentially unlikeable player with a big contract. The Dodgers outfield is full. Unless the Tigers fall short in the playoffs and decide to pony up for one more big bat to take a run at a title, it’s hard to find too many situations where a team will be motivated to offer Hamilton a huge contract.

And, if he’s sitting on the market in January without any real options, the Rangers could potentially be his best landing spot. Which, again, brings up the question of whether they even want him back.

I could see Hamilton getting 5/125 from a team that decides to just ignore the risk and land the best offensive player on the market this winter. I could see Hamilton remaining a free agent until January before signing a one year deal somewhere to try and prove that his second half wasn’t a sign of things to come. Like with Hamilton on the field, his free agent outcomes cover the entire spectrum of possibilities. Perhaps that’s only fitting for a guy who and can end a 43-home-run season being booed by his home crowd.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Zobmie
Member
Zobmie
3 years 9 months ago

Typo in the 2nd paragraph “…and simply stopped him throwing him anything near the plate…”

Aggie E
Guest
Aggie E
3 years 9 months ago

Hamilton wont take a walk. he has admitted he does not like it. he wont trust teammates to handle business behind him. Even in an amazing year from Adrian Beltre. not many teams have a cleanup hitter that had a year like Beltre and hamilton still swung at anything. His 1st AB last friday illustrates his last of discipline after Saunders walked Kinsler and then went full count to Andrus with guys at 1st and 3rd and no outs he swings at the 1st pitch and hits in a DP…

snoop LION
Guest
snoop LION
3 years 9 months ago

typo, account name. “Zobmie”.

I mean, seriously?

Zobmie
Member
Zobmie
3 years 9 months ago
jay
Guest
jay
3 years 9 months ago

who cares!? it’s not english 101

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
3 years 9 months ago

For what it’s worth, I stopped expecting articles on Fangraphs to be thoroughly copy-edited a long time ago.

kiss my GO NATS
Guest
kiss my GO NATS
3 years 9 months ago

I stopped caring long before I read a fangraphs article.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie
3 years 9 months ago

My wife cheated on me and i left that c*nt on the road and never turned back. I wanted to get back at her by banging some young hotties, but I had no idea how to approach them or talk to them. A friend of mine suggested i take a try on ~ see???unger”c0m ~ and I signed up a free account there. Now I have a new 27 year old wife (i’m 45). Remember…think like an alpha male and the all women will be attracted to you regardless!!!

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 9 months ago

Yes. What Leslie said.

For what it’s worth, I really enjoyed your work in Naked Gun, but thought you kind of phoned it in on Creepshow.

Colin
Guest
Colin
3 years 9 months ago

A team giving him 5/125 would have to be absolutely insane at this point. He went a whole year with a complete inability to adjust his approach. If he doesn’t change, it is just going to be more of the past four months for 5 years. Who wants to take that kind of risk for that kind of money?

Krog
Guest
Krog
3 years 9 months ago

Hamilton might be the biggest gamble in free agent history. With the Dodgers throwing money at anything that moves, I could see him ending up in LA for 5/125.

JohnnyK
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Playing which position exactly?

Jack
Guest
Jack
3 years 9 months ago

Magic will tell Ned Colletti that he’s a utility infielder, to insure the Dodgers get Hamilton.

Rick
Guest
Rick
3 years 9 months ago

I take it the Dodgers, much like many NFL teams these days, will be switching to a 3-4 defense? 3 infielders and 4 outfielders?

Rob
Guest
Rob
3 years 9 months ago

Well there certainly is “room” in the Dodgers outfield.

Krog
Guest
Krog
3 years 9 months ago

I see Kemp and Ethier as the only Dodgers outfielders you actually want to start. They have Crawford under contract, but they could make him a fourth outfielder if they sign Hamilton.

Zobmie
Member
Zobmie
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t think you could fault a GM for going either way on Hamilton. Like you said for a stretch this season he was the best player on the planet. And then he wasn’t. He really really wasn’t.

If I was a GM I think the combination of his age/health and his tendency to fade in and out production wise would make me shy away from the 5 year deal. One year though? We could talk.

Colin
Guest
Colin
3 years 9 months ago

I’m really not sure where 25 mil a year is coming from either? He’s been a 4 WAR player for two years, even averaging his last 4 years you don’t get 5 WAR and doing a weighted system like Tango’s you don’t get that either. Then you factor in the age change between 27-31 and 31-36 and you really shouldn’t be close to 25 per even if you ignore the change in his approach this year.

rarumberger
Guest
rarumberger
3 years 9 months ago

And as we know, WAR is the number one stat for all GMs.

SOMEONE will look at his triple-crown stats and think they’re getting the second best player in the league – worth 25 mil easily.

Colin P
Guest
Colin P
3 years 9 months ago

Not only triple crown stats but also the gap between his best performance and that of the other available free agents.

When you consider the kind of money that’s been thrown about the last couple of years for hitters due to the increased TV revenue, I think $20-25 M for Hamilton is likely.

Mike P
Guest
Mike P
3 years 9 months ago

God told him to drop the fly ball.

Jason
Guest
Jason
3 years 9 months ago

Hey, if a childish religion is what helps him keep himself clean, he’s entitled to it.

a
Guest
a
3 years 9 months ago

Except that the “devil” keeps winning that battle.

txmedic
Guest
txmedic
3 years 9 months ago

Idiots

bradsbeard
Guest
bradsbeard
3 years 9 months ago

I wonder if the Astros would dangle a wad of cash in front of him to make a splash while moving over to the AL and sell some tickets while rebuilding.

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 9 months ago

Do they have a wad of cash to dangle? And assuming they did, is this the best use of it for maximizing the “splash”… assuming making a big splash is something they want to do?

Jason
Guest
Jason
3 years 9 months ago

They have a total of something like $5 million currently committed to next years roster. I think they could spring it. Should they? Probably not.

bradsbeard
Guest
bradsbeard
3 years 9 months ago

I have no idea. I imagine they do have a good bit of money to spend with practically no payroll obligations next year though.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tmxTtDiWidNuZUZLxaZIu5Q&output=html

Andy
Guest
Andy
3 years 9 months ago

Luhnow seems to know what he’s doing. He’s starting over, and he’s not going to spend a lot of money to bring in free agents to bolster a team that has no hope of contending for several years. I seriously doubt they spend more than $5-10m/AAV on anyone this year, if that.

bradsbeard
Guest
bradsbeard
3 years 9 months ago

You’re probably right, but there was the whole Roger Clemens bit this season. If Hamilton ends up signing a short term deal to reestablish value, they could comfortably pay him $20 mil for a year or two and still be a bottom tier payroll.

Doc Milo
Guest
Doc Milo
3 years 9 months ago

Hamilton would look good hitting 4th in Seattle. His aggressive approach would make Hargrove a happy man. He can play LF or RF in Seattle this year and if Smoak doesn’t figure it out in 2013, Hamilton can slide to 1B. 3 or 4 years would be best, if the bidding goes to 5 years, forget about it.

Gregory
Guest
Gregory
3 years 9 months ago

Hargrove?

Pfft
Guest
Pfft
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, please do that. Haha.

drewcorb
Member
drewcorb
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah I’m pretty sure their manager is Lou Piniella. Hasn’t been Hargrove in years.

bowie
Member
bowie
3 years 9 months ago

I think the commenter is just concerned about Mike Hargrove’s happiness as a general matter. He was certainly not implying that Hargrove is the manager.

Breadbaker
Guest
Breadbaker
3 years 9 months ago

II’m thinking he’s more Maury Wills’ kind of player.

Chris
Guest
Chris
3 years 9 months ago

And I’m pretty sure Piniella hasn’t been the manager for an even longer time. Current manager is Eric Wedge.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 9 months ago

The team will likely regret it, but I would bet he gets $125 million if not a lot more, though perhaps over a greater number of seasons. I see 7/$147. He has too much upside, which is usually the kind of player that gets the greatest overpay.

BookWorm
Guest
BookWorm
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t know, “upside” is something that I usually associate with people on the other side of 30 years old.

jpg
Guest
jpg
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah it’s not easy to find a fit. Maybe the Phillies since they unloaded Pence and Victorino and are already pot committed. Then again their middle of the lineup is already lefty heavy with Howard and Utley. Miami could conceivably reinvest the Hanley money in Hamilton since they probably will be aggressive again in free agency to remove the “another fire sale” stigma. Other than those two and maybe Detroit, as Dave mentioned, it’s definitely hard to find a suitor.

The Royal We?
Guest
The Royal We?
3 years 9 months ago

didn’t poker-speak go out of vogue 10 years ago?

steex
Guest
steex
3 years 9 months ago

Can’t be. I went all-in on poker-speak.

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 9 months ago

I honestly assumed that was some sly 420 reference that would seem especially relevant in this context. Or, in the context, a rather amusing typo.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 years 9 months ago

Why is Hamilton suddenly unlikeable?? Because ‘in the know’ baseball people figure he’s in the process of sliding off the wagon? I otherwise don’t understand this part of it.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 years 9 months ago

I mean, your typical baseball fan has no dislike of free swingers.

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 9 months ago

Ask those tens of thousands of typical baseball fans that were booing him in Arlington.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 9 months ago

Total speculation, but it may be some of the things Dave pointed out in the previous article, and touched on again here – just about everyone recognizes his poor pitch selection but he seems unwilling or unable to make any adjustments at the plate. Seeing him strike out in a high leverage situation on a pitch two feet outside the zone frustrates the fanbase much more than would a hard-hit grounder or a long flyball out, I would imagine.

Brian W.
Guest
Brian W.
3 years 9 months ago

Why is he unlikeable? Can’t put my finger on it, but I don’t like him.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 years 9 months ago

Assuming Detroit falls short again, maybe they’ll throw a boatload of money at Hamilton in the latest attempt to buy Ilitch his championship. Is Boras his agent??

Tricia
Guest
Tricia
3 years 9 months ago

His agent used to be Matt Sosnick, doubtful he’s with Boras…Teagarden had him though!

Tricia
Guest
Tricia
3 years 9 months ago

oh, and he’s Beltre’s…

james wilson
Guest
james wilson
3 years 9 months ago

Hamilton is the type of player who will find a contract in an organization that does not respect itself much and seeks to fill holes with bigger holes.

A better solution for both player and team is that Hamilton never sigh for more than one year. Which will of course not happen.

Bill
Guest
Bill
3 years 9 months ago

So, Boston?

Pfft
Guest
Pfft
3 years 9 months ago

Free swinger? Yes! But a better word for Josh is “quitter.”

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 9 months ago

In the context of addiction, that’s not a bad thing.

t ball
Guest
t ball
3 years 9 months ago

Actually, as an addict, he’s pretty much a free swinger. His addictions of the moment are a bit less harmful, but he still acts like an addict every day far as I can tell. He struggled with giving up chewing tobacco earlier this year, then suffered from vision problems when he drank too much energy drink.

Josh is a mess and I am sad for him and his family.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
3 years 9 months ago

Phillies and Mariners seem like good guesses to me. Orioles, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Braves, and Marlins all seem like they could use him.

Westside guy
Member
Member
Westside guy
3 years 9 months ago

If he ends up with the Mariners, I bet Wedge – at least once – will refer to his “good approach at the plate”.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph
3 years 9 months ago

Speaking for the two teams I know: I can’t see the Orioles and Peter Angelos signing an injury prone former junkie, he’s still never gotten over the Albert Belle fiasco. The recent Adam Jones contract is the longest one given out since and its value is still lower than what Hamilton will want. And Jones is 5 years younger, the team leader, and seemed to want to stay in Baltimore long term.

As for the Pirates, no way one of the smallest markets in baseball commits 1/3 of its payroll to a long term Hamilton signing, it would be suicide. Far too many ways for it to go bad: his stats could crash, or he can’t stay healthy, or, god forbid, he relapses. Any of that happens and the Pirates near contention goes up in smoke when they can’t afford the small dollar pieces they need to fill out a roster.

Brian W.
Guest
Brian W.
3 years 9 months ago

Forgive my ignorance, but do we have any idea what the Pirates can really “afford”?

Rogerb
Guest
Rogerb
3 years 9 months ago

Before Hamilton. As Mike Fisher called it. The ball park in arlington was refered to as “the picnic grounds in arlington”. He’s the only think that resembled a star since Nolan Ryan. Controversy sells and so does being great
Its stupid not to at least try to sign him. Of course unless you want to go back to 75wins a year.
n

bowie
Member
bowie
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, because Josh Hamilton alone is worth 18 wins.

Tim
Guest
Tim
3 years 9 months ago

He probably is, in Wins Above Imaginary Outfielder.

bradsbeard
Guest
bradsbeard
3 years 9 months ago

What were Juan Gonzalez, Palmiero, and A-Rod? And who are these Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinlser fellows?

Eric
Guest
Eric
3 years 9 months ago

And Ivan Rodriguez

Ralph
Guest
Ralph
3 years 9 months ago

This comment is ridiculously inaccurate. No explanation needed for anyone who can remember more than 4 years into the past…

Bill
Guest
Bill
3 years 9 months ago

Outside of New York and possibly Anaheim, Texas has more stars than any team. Kinsler, Napoli, and Andrus would each be nearly as hard to replace as Hamilton.

Phantom Stranger
Guest
Phantom Stranger
3 years 9 months ago

The mainstream coverage I’ve seen of Hamilton’s season this year has been woefully wrong. Yes, pitchers did adjust to his new approach in May and that caused some of the decline. But there were physical problems going on in his swing and in the field. It appears the pressure of a contract year got to him as the season wore on and it became apparent the Rangers weren’t going to re-sign him. His agent obviously told him to go for as many homers and RBIs as you can, forgetting everything else. His approach at the plate this year was nothing like it had been in prior seasons. Look at the K rate and other indicators.

His idea to go cold turkey on chewing tobacco in the middle of his free agent year was a disaster. I wouldn’t worry too much about signing him if I was an AL team with a DH slot, for the latter years of a potential deal. He’s got the arm to play in Right, though something looked off after June with his arm slot. It looked to me like he was dealing with a pulled ribcage muscle or something that affected his throwing.

ralph
Guest
ralph
3 years 9 months ago

Speaking of “other indicators” the combination of his O-contact and O-swing numbers is practically unheard of.

Amongst qualified hitters, he “led” the league in O-Swing% at 45.4%. He backed that up with a O-Contact% of 52.1% (tied with Mark Reynolds for third-worst in the league, with Uggla and Dunn rounding out the trailingboard).

There’s really no one else particularly close at being that bad in both O-Swing and O-Contact. The closest are Adam Jones (41.3/59.8), Danny Espinosa (40.5/57.0), Trumbo (40.2/56.2), Chris Davis (39.8,56.), Soriano (38.2,57.3), Chris Johnson (37.4, 59.2), and Cespedes (36.5, 59.5).

Going back to 2011 does show that Miguel Olivo was a qualified hitter who put up pretty similar numbers — 45.6 and 51.2.

Bab
Guest
Bab
3 years 9 months ago

Are you suggesting Hamilton took his batting advice from his agent rather than paid professional hitting coaches?

If this were true, this would be at least as damaging to Hamilton’s FA opportunities as any other factor mentioned in this discussion.

Matthias
Member
Member
3 years 9 months ago

And Miguel Olivo is not someone to whom you want to be particularly similar.

Brian W.
Guest
Brian W.
3 years 9 months ago

Seriously? In thirty-five years of watching MLB, I don’t recall any players using chew or caffeine as an excuse until Mr. Hamilton came along.

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
3 years 9 months ago

When his “I can’t hit during daygames because I have blue eyes” excuse got old, he had to think of something…

RyanW
Guest
RyanW
3 years 9 months ago

Hamilton will avg 30hrs, 100 RBI, campaigns for the next 5 years in his sleep. His physical talent is unmatched by anyone not named Mike Trout, and there are maybe 3 guys in the league that pitchers truly ever fear. The whole lineup is changed with his presence…give me a break, do you think BJ Upton, or Swisher can replace that fear, not to mention the numbers. As volatile as Josh is, would anyone be surprised if he hits 40hrs. .300 next year? Every Big Market can team can afford to over pay for a Premium talent. Overpaying, Risking on a franchise player won’t kill the Rangers with their new TV deal. Not having a franchise type left handed bat on the other hand, puts them below the top teams in baseball without a doubt and into a 1-2 year transition.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph
3 years 9 months ago

No one would be surprise if he ended hitting .350 with 50 home runs and 140 RBIs. He has that kind of talent.

But no one (except you) would be surprised if he spent 130 games on the DL, or perhaps worse, on the restricted list. He spent the better part of a decade abusing his body and mind and once an addict always an addict. And its well documented that even a brief addiction can manifest as hidden health problems years later, and we already know he’s injury prone. Is the risk worth the reward? That’s the question.

bpdelia
Guest
bpdelia
3 years 9 months ago

woah. its not “well documented” in fact there is surprisingly little correlation between past drug abuse and health,problems. this whole correlation,between hamiltons 3 years,of addiction (a very small amount,of time compared to most addicts) and his imjuries has always annoyed me. its unscientific.

typos everywhere
Guest
typos everywhere
3 years 9 months ago

“Perhaps that’s only fitting for a guy who and can end”?

Choo
Member
3 years 9 months ago

It depends how you define fear. The most intimidating hitters will force a pitcher to throw something they can crush. In that regard, Josh Hamilton is more like the first boss in a video game. The exploitable hole in his armor – soft junk 12 inches off the plate over and over and over again – erases fear from the whole encounter.

jim
Guest
jim
3 years 9 months ago

i think a good deal for hamilton is something similar to what the dodgers offered fielder. that was, what, 7/$150? front-loaded and with an opt out after 4 years. i see either san francisco or colorado being nice fits for him

DB
Guest
DB
3 years 9 months ago

Ask yourself, would you be happy if your team signed him? Pretty much everyone from multiple fan bases that I have asked has said not worth it, no. As an O’s fan he probably fills a giant void, but I wouldn’t want him. Rather find someone else, even with less production. The fans booing him and tiring of him in Texas I think is really telling. Just became unreliable. Someone will pay and get decent production, just hope it’s not my team.

Kate Upton: Fantasy MVP
Guest
Kate Upton: Fantasy MVP
3 years 9 months ago

I’d be pretty ecstatic if the Astros signed him. Paying for Hamilton probably isn’t quite worth his on the field value (although he’s still an elite player), but he’s a great face of the franchise player and he’d probably make back the money in merchandising and additional TV viewership. Indeed, the drama that surrounds him only adds to the headlines and desire to watch him. Also, despite the booing, he’s still super popular here in Texas.

bowie
Member
bowie
3 years 9 months ago

The SF Giants:
1) desperately need a slugger (esp a lefty)
2) are trying to win now
3) have money
4) will overpay for free agents (see Zito, Rowand)

qat
Guest
qat
3 years 9 months ago

Zito, Rowand see pre 2008. See Hamilton’s own comments about SF.

Idiot.

bowie
Member
bowie
3 years 9 months ago

settle down

Tom
Guest
Tom
3 years 9 months ago

If the Yankees let Swisher walk… massive 1 year pillow contract.Maybe 1yr/25-30mil?

Doesn’t impact their 2014 189mil plan, allows them a year to figure out whether some of the lower minor leaguers are actual OF solutions in 2014/2015. Gives Hamilton a year to make some money and set the bar high again – a team like Boston may enter the fray in 2014 (fan unrest if they have another down year?) or the White Sox?

Bill
Guest
Bill
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t like this, but this actually makes a lot of sense. With their massive payroll, the Yankees are likely the only team that can pay Hamilton a mint and still be ok if he gets hurt. They were paying Giambi 20+ million to sit on the DL and they still weren’t strapped for cash. Boston might make a play for him just to prevent him from signing in New York (and to try and keep fans coming to see a last place team).

j cheatman
Guest
j cheatman
3 years 9 months ago

The factors to consider are:
1. Talent – absurdly high
2. Approach – very poor and at times atrocious
3. Durability – average to poor
4. Off the field issues – history of career threatening substance abuse and reports of falling off the wagon last winter.
5. Likability – mixed bag, at times embraced as a near god (his homerun display at Yankee stadium at all star contest) and booed most recently in playoff game. This seems to be correlated with his recent performance.
Hamilton is also a player who has better traditional stats than advanced statistics which suggest that there is an incentive for enlightened general managers to pass. Maybe a team like Baltimore would take a flier. I bet he would be better than McLouth. At the correct price he is absolutely too talented to not sign. A one year contract is not going to land Josh Hamilton.
All the factors above except his superior talent mitigate his value so I would guess he signs for 4 years 109 million. This is a steep discount when one considers other free agents with his resume and talent.

bowie
Member
bowie
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, Baltimore does seem like a good bet to woo Hamilton. I can definitely see that happening.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph
3 years 9 months ago

Almost no chance of him landing in Baltimore on anything other than a modestly priced 1 year deal, if that. Angelos may have the money but hates big contracts since the Albert Belle fiasco. Hamilton’s history and injury prone reputation should only further discourage signing him. The recent Adam Jones contract is the longest one given out since Belle and its value is still substantially lower than what Hamilton will want. And Jones is 5 years younger, durable, the team leader, and seemed to want to stay in Baltimore long term.

Coupled with the team already having some success as currently configured. I don’t see them adding the potential production at the cost of an extra ego in the clubhouse and a history of addiction and injury.

Scott
Guest
Scott
3 years 9 months ago

While I agree that Angelos may be somewhat unwilling to repeat the Belle contract, if the O’s fall a bit short in the postseason, the urge to add the mythical “one piece to put them over-the-top” may be too much for him to avoid. Not to mention the hype it would cause in Baltimore. Fans would be likely to come out in droves to see Hamilton and a team that, in many minds (whether true or not), would be seen as a good contender in 2013.

Bill
Guest
Bill
3 years 9 months ago

The Orioles have enough talented outfielders. I imagine they will bring McClouth back to back up Jones, Markakis, and Reimold. They will be looking for a starting pitcher and a second baseman. They may look to upgrade first base, as well, but Hamilton will not be an Oriole.

ChipandDruw
Guest
ChipandDruw
3 years 9 months ago

The past two years Hamilton has actually had pretty even home/away splits, which is encouraging.

Any contract must include playing time targets, as he has played in 150 games just once in his career, as well as salary penalties for addictions.

Doug B
Guest
Doug B
3 years 9 months ago

it only takes 1 team (see Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols last season).

if 5 teams think he’s worth 4/90 with incentives and 1 team think he’s worth 6/170 then guess what he’s going to get…

Zigs
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Zigs
3 years 9 months ago

Elimination game- 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts on 8 pitches. That is almost as frustrating as the dumb fans booing their best player.

jim
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jim
3 years 9 months ago

they booed beltre and darvish?

Jason B
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Jason B
3 years 9 months ago

I think all astute GM’s will base a potential long-term commitment on how he performed in a single game. Well said.

GM: “Call Hamilton’s agent, throw out a 8/200 deal and see where it goes from there.”
Assistant: “Whoa, whoa, slow down. He went 0-for-4 the last game he played! That dude sucks eggs.”
GM: “Right you are. Let’s see if we can get that Michael Young dude, he went 2-for-4! Now that is a GAMER!”

JKB
Guest
JKB
3 years 9 months ago

He fills every hole on the Rays except catcher. How about 2/40 and house arrest with an ankle bracelet to come back to Tampa and do Steps 8 and 9 where he makes amends and helps others (win the world series)?

topher
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topher
3 years 9 months ago

JKB, that is funny

topher
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topher
3 years 9 months ago

I wish the Mariner’s would take him and use him in LF. We know Guti will be out with injury. Saunders can be in CF, Hamilton in LF, and Pagan in RF, and Casper Wells as 4th OF. Hamilton can do some DH when Gutierrez is back

rogerb
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rogerb
3 years 9 months ago

My? Is. Is there really someone in ranger front office that’s stupid enough to say “we dont want Hamilton even if he would play for free”. How does Wash walk free. He did some of the worse”on the fly”management I’ve ever seen. I hope Rangers enjoyed the 3 million plus crowd this year. They are about to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Bill
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Bill
3 years 9 months ago

I think you people are being overly harsh on hamilton.

First, how many players on your own team played 150 games? With the crackdown on everything illegal, it’s no wonder that players are looking for that extra ‘juice’, whether it’s caffeine or nicotine. just look at the games in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, everyone was chewing or on greenies. Unless you’ve played an entire baseball season you cannot know how absolutely draining it is. You see a game, it looks like fun, and you assume it’s all easy. Games are longer now, 3hrs+, there’s BP, fielding, interviews after, etc. It’s an easy 7-8hrs minimum daily without medical attention included, travel, offseason workouts, etc. 6-7 days a week. And while the game isn’t as physically bruising as hockey or football, just being on your feet daily, running things out, sliding, bumping into walls, getting hit with pitches, the bruises mount up quick even if you avoid the DL. So cut the guy a break about he’s got an addictive personality, most of us do to some degree and he should be commended for even discussing it openly.

As far as production, he had an off year in several areas. It will probably cost him, but I think a lot of his deal will depend on whether a team thinks he can play CF. For some reason his fielding metric has been all over the map since 08, this past year it was negative which really affected his WAR i’m sure. If I was a GM I would start with 3 years 20mil per with an option based on plate appearances (min 500?). That is where I would start, I wouldn’t go beyond 5 years. He’s worth it.

Jason B
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Jason B
3 years 9 months ago

Bill, I think your response is attached to the wrong comment. Roger was defending Hamilton and dissing Washington.

Phantom Stranger
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Phantom Stranger
3 years 9 months ago

His defense in center was quite acceptable, even good, until this year. He looked much slower cutting off balls and something seemed to be limiting his throwing motion. If he’s healthy, he can play an average CF for the next couple of years in the right park.

kiseey
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3 years 9 months ago

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