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Let's say you're the Texas Rangers: What do you offer Josh Hamilton (if anything)?


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#1 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

There's a short Triangle post at Grantland about Hamilton and his impending Free Agency after this season.

Considering his obvious talents, but also considering his obvious issues, what kind of a deal would you offer him if you were the Rangers?

#2 Darnell's Son

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:53 AM

Nothing more than 2 years/$34 million. There are way too many concerns to give him a long contract, but a short lucrative deal might keep him there.

#3 Average Reds


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:12 PM

Nothing more than 2 years/$34 million. There are way too many concerns to give him a long contract, but a short lucrative deal might keep him there.


I agree with you, but in a world where Joey Votto is guaranteed $260+ million for the next 12 years, there's no question that someone is going to offer Hamilton a long term deal that is very lucrative.

If Texas wants to keep him, they're going to need to offer between 6 and 8 years at $20+ million per or they can kiss him goodbye. Now - they may be able to protect themselves with behavioral clauses that will allow them to void the deal or eliminate guaranteed money based on how many times the phrase "hookers and blow" comes up during the tenure of his contract. But they're going to need to step up or they're going to lose him.

This is a long-winded way of saying that if I'm the Rangers, I'm offering 7 years and $150 million with all sorts of clauses to protect me.

#4 moondog80


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

I'd be realtively unconcerned about his drinking and scared to death of the fact that he has the durability of JD Drew. I'd just let him walk.

#5 wutang112878


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:00 PM

While its unlikely he and his agents would go for this, here is a somewhat creative solution to the problem. Lets say they think his value, issues aside, is 5yrs/1$100M, but due to his issues the Rangers are concerned about entering into a long-term contract like that with him due to the risks. Why not give him a 20% bump in AAV, so 5yrs/$120M, but each year is a team option and there is some reasonable buyout of say $5M or so. This would reduce the risk for the Rangers, provide him with incentive to keep things under control, and provide him with a financial incentive to agree to an option type contract like this. From a Rangers perspective I would rather pay an extra 20% annually to have the ability to cut ties with him at any point. Very unlikely, he, his agents and MLBPA would allow such a thing, but it seems like a logical way to deal with this to me anyway.

#6 Toe Nash

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:47 AM

I'd offer at most 4/80, fully expecting someone else to offer him more than that, and just hope it's not the Angels who do so. He's already 31 and his injury history is very troubling. The Rangers aren't rich in outfielders beyond their starters, but they have plenty of pitching prospects and their best position player, Profar, is blocked by Andrus (who's going to get expensive soon). You can make a deal for an outfielder.

#7 Bucknahs Bum Ankle


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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:06 AM

While its unlikely he and his agents would go for this, here is a somewhat creative solution to the problem. Lets say they think his value, issues aside, is 5yrs/1$100M, but due to his issues the Rangers are concerned about entering into a long-term contract like that with him due to the risks. Why not give him a 20% bump in AAV, so 5yrs/$120M, but each year is a team option and there is some reasonable buyout of say $5M or so. This would reduce the risk for the Rangers, provide him with incentive to keep things under control, and provide him with a financial incentive to agree to an option type contract like this. From a Rangers perspective I would rather pay an extra 20% annually to have the ability to cut ties with him at any point. Very unlikely, he, his agents and MLBPA would allow such a thing, but it seems like a logical way to deal with this to me anyway.


There is no way in hell he's going to sign for what amounts to $29M guaranteed when there will likely be $100M+ guaranteed elsewhere.

#8 Darnell's Son

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:12 PM

There is no way in hell he's going to sign for what amounts to $29M guaranteed when there will likely be $100M+ guaranteed elsewhere.


I agree with this, and I don't think he would sign the offer I brought up. That is the type of money though that I would offer him if I were the Rangers. Just give him an offer like that and hope he wants to be around the support system he has in Texas. If not, then you just let him go and let another team offer over a hundred million to him.

#9 PacificRimJob

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:18 PM

I'd offer at most 4/80, fully expecting someone else to offer him more than that, and just hope it's not the Angels who do so. He's already 31 and his injury history is very troubling. The Rangers aren't rich in outfielders beyond their starters, but they have plenty of pitching prospects and their best position player, Profar, is blocked by Andrus (who's going to get expensive soon). You can make a deal for an outfielder.


Angels are committed to Bourjos and Trout moving forward and Wells for 2 more years after this year. There is also a possibility that Trumbo might be better suited in left field depending on this years 3rd base experiment.

#10 JMDurron

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 08:23 AM

This will be his age 31 season.

In his 5 years in the majors, he has played 90, 156, 89, 133, and 121 games, during his peak age years of 26-30.

There are very recent, relevant, concrete reasons to be concerned about his activities during his personal time.

Frankly, I don't see any justification for offering him much of anything if I'm the Rangers, other than perhaps "we have so much TV money that we can afford to have this entire contract go to waste by year 3 if that's how things play out." Build around the arms in the system and trade any excess for a replacement bat.

The first two issues (age and durability) are enough to justify a lowball offer to make sure they aren't stuck with him for the decline phase. The third and final (and least relevant) factor is enough to push things into "don't even bother" territory from where I sit. Any offer I'd make would be purely for PR purposes.

#11 rembrat


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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:55 AM

Forget the Angels, it's the Yankees the Rangers should be worried about. Swisher is playing the last year of his deal and Granderson has an option and buyout for 13'. I can see the Yankees working out an extension with Granderson and going after Hamilton to play RF and LF whenever Gardner is sitting.

#12 jon abbey


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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:44 AM

No way that fits into their getting under $189M after 2013 plan, I'd say it's way more likely they try to trade some of their pitching depth (maybe one or two of Phelps/Warren/Betances) for the equivalent in young outfielders, let Swisher go, and keep Granderson. Even re-signing Cano and Granderson and letting Swisher go is going to make it hard to stay under $189M, they also have to figure out what to do about C with Martin hitting free agency after the season.

#13 rembrat


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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:46 AM

I don't know how everything would fit but couldn't they do what they did with CC's first deal? Where he made $23MM overall in 09' but $9MM of it was tied up into bonuses, which doesn't count against the cap, so it was actually $14MM in the books? Very likely that what I just said is wrong.

EDIT: What I'm assuming here is that the Yankees only want to get under for 13' then go back over afterwards. Again, high chance that I'm wrong here as well.

Edited by rembrat, 14 April 2012 - 10:47 AM.


#14 jon abbey


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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:11 PM

Well, two problems with that: I think they use AAV, so you can't really circumvent it with accounting tricks, but also I read not too long ago that they need to be under for consecutive years to have the tax reset (I have no idea if that's true or not).

Anyway, no way they're going to go after Hamilton IMO, which was my point.

#15 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:07 PM

NYC doesn't seem like the best place for a guy like Hamilton to be. It's hard to imagine a "we don't trust you" offer to go over well. There's enough baseball reasons to not want to take the risk, so I think the Rangers best play is to tell his agent to make the first offer, and then bow out gracefully.

#16 rembrat


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:17 AM

Of course, I was a tiny kid at the time, but didnt the NYY have both Doc and Straw at one point?

#17 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

They had Gooden, Strawberry, Steve Howe, and Tim Raines on the same roster.

#18 Average Reds


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:51 PM

Just wanted to say that whatever we thought the number would be when we started this thread a month ago, that number is now "More."

#19 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:28 PM

No kidding. Good lord is he having a ridiculous season.

406 / 458 / 840

14 HR...2 more than the Padres.

#20 Average Reds


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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:34 AM

Yeah, his start doesn't mean he's going to get A-Rod money, but his otherworldly skills when he is on his game means that he's just not going to be seeing any offers that can be described as "lowball" unless the team making the offer is not serious about signing him. I'm not trying to criticize the folks who made that suggestion a month ago, because we're trying to think rationally and we see the risks. But MLB execs are, by nature, looking at both the rational and irrational aspects of contract negotiations.

Because of his past drug/alcohol issues, Hamilton has a huge standard deviation in terms of the risk associated with his contract. If you pay him according to his talent, you'll overpay and the risk will be massive. If you underpay, you won't land him, because you know that someone will get stupid and overpay. So for the Rangers, the entire dynamic comes down to:

Do you believe that his talent is worth the risk to keep him on your team?
  • If no, make a "lowball" offer and let nature take it's course. (But probably not an insulting lowball offer, because you need to protect yourself against fan backlash when he walks.)
  • If yes, make a "fair" offer with all sorts of clauses that protect the team if Hamilton's demons devour him, and point out to him/his agent that your team is probably the best situation for him in terms of fit, support system and commitment to winning.
However many years he ends up getting - and a few more months like the beginning of this season and he'll write his own ticket - Hamilton is not going to be under-compensated. So if Texas wants to keep him, they're going to have to wrap their minds around the notion of what sort of MegaDeal they can afford and how much MegaRisk they're going to accept.

Unless he falls off the table this year, I feel like my initial thought that it would take 7/150 with lots of protection in the contract is looking way too low.

Edited by Average Reds, 09 May 2012 - 07:37 AM.


#21 bakahump

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:34 AM

It wont impact who or how much a team bids but as a person...

I think the big concern is what about 5 or 10 years from now when he is out of Baseball, has a boat ton of money, copious amounts of free time and not nearly the support system he has now. I guess thats always been the end state....but the fact he is going to make even more money may exacerbate the issue.

It could get very ugly very fast for Josh Hamilton. Hopefully his wife and kids can help keep him grounded.

#22 PhilPlantier

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:10 PM

Because of his past drug/alcohol issues, Hamilton has a huge standard deviation in terms of the risk associated with his contract. If you pay him according to his talent, you'll overpay and the risk will be massive. If you underpay, you won't land him, because you know that someone will get stupid and overpay. So for the Rangers, the entire dynamic comes down to:

Do you believe that his talent is worth the risk to keep him on your team?

  • If no, make a "lowball" offer and let nature take it's course. (But probably not an insulting lowball offer, because you need to protect yourself against fan backlash when he walks.)
  • If yes, make a "fair" offer with all sorts of clauses that protect the team if Hamilton's demons devour him, and point out to him/his agent that your team is probably the best situation for him in terms of fit, support system and commitment to winning.


Your points are well-taken, but I expect that any overpay will be due to the typical miscalculations -- underestimating Hamilton's likelihood of injury and decline -- and not due to failing to account for the massive risk that his drug and alcohol issues pose. I suspect that any team offering a multiyear deal, including the stupid ones, would insist on a comprehensive "demons" clause, which would alleviate the Rangers' risk of overpaying on that particular score.

#23 Dahabenzapple2

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:26 PM

too bad is that it will take much more than his wife and kids to keep him clean.

the risks are huge especially with the revelations about his relapses with alcohol - maybe the only reason he hasn't gotten out of control yet is that he is tested for the other stuff. It sure seems like he thinks a Jerry Narron type and a bible will get it done, but in my experiences, those kinds of support systems are temporary at best for the vast majority of drug addicts.

who knows if that is his way to stay clean, but I have heard nothing about him doing anything else - things that most addicts who stay clean do.

#24 Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:01 AM

Hamilton went 3 for 4 last night with two more HRs. Now hitting .407 with an .873 slugging percentage.

#25 rembrat


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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:03 PM

Um, he hit another one this time off of a tough lefty in CJ Wilson.

The thread title needs to be changed 'if anything' was never realistic to begin with anyways.

#26 MakMan44


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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:50 PM

2nd player in MLB history with 18 thru 34 games. He keeps this up his contract is going to be insane

#27 fineyoungarm


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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:04 PM

It sure is and totally out of whack, given all that is on his plate.

Hamilton is not going to accept all sorts of "you better be good" conditions, because he is still too new to recovery (and throw in a couple of relapses that were apparently controlled), He has no idea whether he will experience a serious relapse or not.

So any team that is going to pay the kind of money for the number of years that will be necessary to sign him (say 7/140 - best case?) is going to need to go to the London insurance market to see if it can get some protection against a career ending/shortening relapse. If coverage can be secured, count on the premiums adding a couple more million a year to his cost.

Probably, it would be much better for his welfare if Hamilton stays where he is - even for less money. He appears to have a pretty reliable support group within the team - not to be taken for granted. Also, depending on what recovery system(s) he is in, Dallas may be where his sponser and other vital supporters are - even those for whom he pays. You can be sure that he (and his family, doctor, etc.) know all this

Hamilton gets away from his new normal in Texas and he might run into triggers elsewhere. In any event, despite all the extemely hard work he has done to get better, without a solid insurance policy - he is too risky even for Texas - except year to year or, maybe, two years

#28 MakMan44


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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

Hamilton is not going to accept all sorts of "you better be good" conditions, because he is still too new to recovery (and throw in a couple of relapses that were apparently controlled), He has no idea whether he will experience a serious relapse or not.

Probably, it would be much better for his welfare if Hamilton stays where he is - even for less money. He appears to have a pretty reliable support group within the team - not to be taken for granted. Also, depending on what recovery system(s) he is in, Dallas may be where his sponser and other vital supporters are - even those for whom he pays. You can be sure that he (and his family, doctor, etc.) know all this


I think these are the 2 most important parts of your argument and I totally agree with both of them. More money is exactly what Hamilton doesn't need. He needs to take less money to stay where he is, although he probably doesn't realize it yet. If I was connected to him in anyway (outside of his agent; who is probably shooting for the most money) I'm telling him to stick with what you know. It's what's best for him.

#29 fineyoungarm


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:43 AM

I think these are the 2 most important parts of your argument and I totally agree with both of them. More money is exactly what Hamilton doesn't need. He needs to take less money to stay where he is, although he probably doesn't realize it yet. If I was connected to him in anyway (outside of his agent; who is probably shooting for the most money) I'm telling him to stick with what you know. It's what's best for him.


My guess is that he knows it. Whether he'll do it - no clue. If he does, it seems that his recovry is on track. If not, say a prayer (of any type) for his family and him.

#30 Dahabenzapple2

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

with 2 documented and admitted relapses over the last couple of years the idea that 'it seems that his recovery is on track' is supposition at it's greatest.

I have seen some people with many multiple years clean who still did a good amount for their recovery relapse and lose everything.

knowing that the guy has less than a year clean should send shock waves of concerns and one would think, as a poster wrote above, that an insurance option should be looked into.

btw - I don't know any recovering addict who doesn't know if he he or she will use again.....most people I know who have many years clean take care of themselves with a thorough program to protect themselves from picking up the first one.

fwiw - quote, un-quote 'minor relapses' are usually just the start of more bad things about to happen unless the addict completely changes what they are doing - and usually it takes another thorough ass kicking before true lasting recovery takes hold....if the addict is able to get clean once again

Josh Hamilton who may or may not have a decent or viable long term (yet one day at a time) recovery process/program......certainly is MUCH more likely to be overconfident and thinks that he has 'got it' based on some remarks that before he went inot the bar, he was again "convinced that he could have a few and could handle it"

classic thinking of the addict who really doesn't participate deeply in their recovery - the mind convinces themselves that 'I could do different drugs or JUST drink' or 'it wasn't that bad', or 'it isn't a disease' or 'it was just a phase' or Josh's thinking - 'I can handle it - I'm no different than the other guys in the bar'

certainly the addict who relapses usually think they are A-OK until they drink, shoot up, snort or smoke some shit that brought them down in the first place.

as a guy I know who has been clean for over 27 years and just turned 70 says - 'If you dance to the music, you gotta pay the fiddler'

he also says that the disease of addiction can get you like a knockout punch from Mike Tyson used to get his opponents - they never saw it coming...

he happens also to keep an eye on Josh Hamilton because as people here may know or may like to know that a few of us have a very soft spot in our hearts for him - we understand some of the regret and remorse he may be dealing with base don his lost years as a few people I know have a decade or 2 or 3 of lost time to this fucking insidious disease.

#31 MakMan44


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Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:36 PM

According to Heyman "The Rangers have assigned a "life coach'' to chaperone and monitor Hamilton, and he's had only two relapses that became public since he's been in Texas. But people who have spoken to the life coaches suggest it is a very demanding job."

Apperantly they're willing to do a deal with a high AAV but want to keep the deal length low.

http://www.cbssports...lock-him-up-1st