Josh Hamilton and Texas Rangers: Arbitration Hearing Bound?


As of right now, it looks as though the Rangers and Josh Hamilton will be headed for an arbitration hearing next month. The Rangers are hoping they can strike a deal with the outfielder, but I don’t see Hamilton coming down much on the amount that he is requesting. As a refresher, Hamilton has asked for $12 million while the Rangers have countered with $8.7 million.

In a previous post of mine, I said that many people were taking his age and the possibility of a relapse into consideration and saying that Hamilton wasn’t worth the $12 million he is asking for. If you read my post then you know I didn’t agree with that. I actually find it very degrading to Josh as a person. Sure, two years ago, he had some major issues with addiction, and this will be something that the arbitration court brings up, but doesn’t overcoming something like that say something powerful about a man? It proves, to me, that he is a dedicated, strong-willed, dominant, talented player (the list could have gone on!).

Let’s think about this: Hamilton led the season in batting averages with a .359, which was 29 points more than other capable players. He went on to also lead baseball with a 1.044 OPS and slugging percentage of .633. He helped the Rangers make their very first World Series appearance in franchise history and he was named American League’s Most Valuable Player, an award he accepted this past weekend.

It wasn’t just a good 2010 season for Hamilton as he has had good seasons before, some of which he has led RBIs, total bases, etc. In addition, he has a very strong and solid .311 batting average for his career. Yes, he’s had plenty of injuries over the past several years and missed plenty of games, but that hasn’t credited him as being an unreliable player. Despite those injuries, he still led numbers in baseball. Look at this past season, I’ve already stated what he has accomplished last year and he did that while battling a shoulder injury, an issue with his gum/root, a left thumb injury, issues with hamstring and issues with his knee. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

My opinion of this whole matter: Josh is worth the $12 million. As a previous commenter said, think about free agency…it might not be coming after 2011 but it will creep up after 2012 and while Hamilton would like to spend his entire MLB career in Texas with the Rangers, there are other teams out there. There are other teams that are more than willing to spend $12 million+ on the powerful bat and I doubt they will waste their time trying to acquire him when (and if) he becomes a free agent.

Rangers, get the show on the road. This is ridiculous. Hamilton is one of the most solid players you have. Avoid the hearing and give him the $12 million he wants and very much deserves. He is going to have a solid 2011 season, there’s no reason to doubt otherwise.

What are your thoughts? If it goes to a hearing, who do you think will come out on top – the Rangers or Hamilton?