Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Thursday, December 6, 2012
If Rangers can't get both, then sign Zack Greinke

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

The Texas Rangers need to money whip free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke. And if it means saying goodbye to Josh Hamilton, so be it.

This has more to do with Greinke being a 29-year-old, front-of-the-rotation starter in his prime than Hamilton quitting on the Rangers three different times during the final three weeks of last season.

Dispute that if you choose, but we all saw Hamilton take the last five game and five innings off during the club's most important road trip of the season. He blamed it on some eyeball issue caused by consuming too many energy drinks.

And we all saw his sorry effort to catch a routine fly ball and his even sorrier effort to chase it down in the last game of the season. That error helped doom the Rangers.

Finally, we saw Hamilton see eight pitches in four at-bats in the wild-card loss against the Baltimore Orioles.

Shameful.

Even more so for a player with 43 homers and 128 RBIs.

Maybe Hamilton will return to being the superstar who played hurt in the playoffs and nearly became a real-life Roy Hobbs with his 10th-inning homer in Game 6 the 2011 World Series.

Maybe, he won't.

The only guarantee is that Hamilton will get every nickel of the $100 million contract he signs this offseason.

Again, that's not the point.

Adding Greinke to a rotation that includes 26-year-old Yu Darvish, 27-year-old Matt Harrison, 26-year-old Derek Holland and 29-year-old Alexi Ogando would make the Rangers a contender for another five years.

For more of why Greinke would be a better addition than Hamilton, click here.