Josh Hamilton talk: What should club offer?
Today's topic: Contract
Tim Heitman/US PresswireJosh Hamilton couldn't deliver when it most mattered, but his regular-season numbers are worthy of a look for teams looking to sign him.
But the other side of Hamilton is that he gave the club 43 homers and 128 RBIs. He hit .285 and managed to play in 148 games, his most since 2008. There were games when Hamilton looked completely out of it at the plate and yet found a way to hit a home run or deliver some sort of RBI hit that helped the club. What he didn't seem to do was take the offense on his back in the second half of the season the way we've seen in previous years. We'll get to more of Hamilton's overall numbers later in the week here on the blog.
Put all of that together -- the bad finish, the odd injuries, the whole Josh Hamilton package -- and the Rangers have to figure out what, if anything, they want to offer him. We've seen this front office take different approaches over the past few years to their own free agents. They fought hard on Cliff Lee, but in the end Lee chose Philadelphia. They had certain parameters on C.J. Wilson and never really made a formal offer because they knew those weren't close to what a few other teams were offering.
So if they decide to at least discuss parameters with Hamilton and make some sort of offer, what makes sense? I really think this comes down to the term of the contract, not the dollar amount. I could argue that the last two weeks have hurt Hamilton's overall value, but he's still in the $25 million range, isn't he? It could be more or less depending on those guaranteed years. But how many do you give Hamilton, who has had an injury history and is now 31 years old? I think three guaranteed years is all I'd go. Maybe there's a vesting option for a fourth year based on whether he stays healthy. But you don't want to get into a situation where you're paying a player that kind of money and not getting a return on the investment.
What Hamilton's final week did, though, was give the club plenty of cover with fans. This staff doesn't make decisions based on public opinion polls anyway, but if Hamilton doesn't return, my guess is that many fans won't be as upset as they would have been just a few months ago. Remember when many felt the Rangers should have given Hamilton the big deal after his April and May? But for those who think the Rangers shouldn't even bother with Hamilton, keep in mind the team needs to figure out how to get those 40-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs from someone else (or maybe a few folks).
Should the Rangers offer Hamilton a contract? What do you think is the right offer? How many guaranteed years are you willing to give him?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.
Play Podcast Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland joins GAC from Milwaukee to discuss what it was like facing former teammate Scott Feldman, Texas' upcoming series and more.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Milwaukee for his weekly visit and discusses Nick Tepesch, the Rangers' rotation, interleague play and more.