There’s no easy answer to the Josh Hamilton question. He will be a free agent after the 2012 season and, if the Rangers want to lock him up, they’ll probably need to do so before Spring Training.
There’s no question that Hamilton is immensely talented, but his health will always be a concern. About 12 hours ago, we were reminded that physical health isn’t the only issue looming over the star slugger’s future.
Hamilton’s story is well documented. He battled alcohol and drug addiction for several years, fell out of baseball, and only returned to the game after sobering up and rededicating himself to his religious faith.
He had gone over three years without a relapse, but according to several sources he was spotted drinking in a bar only four days ago.
It’s hard to say what this incident might mean going forward. Hamilton’s impending free agency is already a complicated situation. From the standpoint of what’s best for the Rangers, a relapse so close to the start of Spring Training can’t be ignored.
It’s been said that addiction is a disease without a cure.
If Texas reopens contract negotiations with Hamilton’s representatives, this will have to be considered. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s still reality.
Press on, Rangers fans.