Everyone (well, at least the fans) was worried that Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers would be having a Valentine’s date at an arbitration hearing in front of a panel of judges, which was scheduled to take place early next week. However, it looks as though that’s not going to happen now. Thursday, Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers agreed to a two-year deal worth $24 million, which covers the two remaining arbitration years.
So, it looks as though the Rangers finally agreed with me and a number of other fans that the AL MVP was indeed worth the $12 million that he requested. I saw no reason at all for the 29-year-old outfielder, who is turning 30 in May, not to receive what he was asking. After all, he just came off an incredible year in which he hit 32 home runs, brought in 100 RBIs and a .359 batting average in his 133 games. His batting average was the best in the American League as was his OPS of 1.044 and his slugging percentage of .633.
In talks earlier this week, the three-time All-Star had stated that he and the Rangers were making progress and had discussed the possibility of a two-year contract but nothing had been set in stone just yet. He was hoping to get two years so that he (and the Rangers) wouldn’t have to go through the stress of this same situation again next year – looks like he got what he wanted.
Hamilton also said that he had gained back the 10 pounds that he had lost in January when he was hospitalized and receiving treatment for the early stages of pneumonia for six days. He hopes to continue to gain up to another seven pounds, though, to prepare his body for the weight loss that will be endured during the summer.
While pitchers and catchers will report next Wednesday to Surprise, Arizona, for the start of Spring Training, other players (including Hamilton) will report February 20.
All I have to say about this two-year deal is congrats to Josh for getting what he wanted and deserved. Let’s hope that when the end of the 2012 MLB seasons comes to a close (or before would even be better) that the Rangers don’t waste so much time securing Hamilton in Texas as he will be a free agent and I can assure you that teams will be shooting forward immediately to lure Hamilton to their club. Don’t waste so much time next time Rangers – just my opinion!