It is my opinion that Josh Hamilton is kind of dumb. Allow me to reiterate that this is my opinion and that it has nothing to do with his struggles with addiction, his religious beliefs, or his instincts on the field.
What I do have a problem with is the way that Hamilton has approached his impending free agency. Especially if you consider his history and the accommodations that the Rangers have made for him.
Before his recent relapse, Hamilton had spent some time talking to the media about contract negotiations. Cutting through all of the spin and humblebragging, the one word that kept coming up was fair.
Hamilton wants what’s fair, but what exactly is fair?
If you asked him, Hamilton would probably tell you that fair is roughly in the range of what Carl Crawford (7 years, $142MM) and Jayson Werth (7 years, $126MM) made last offseason. For the Rangers, neither deal would be very fair.
When it comes to long-term contracts, most ballplayers look at other ballplayers to gauge their value. On paper it makes sense to say that Hamilton isn’t that much different from either Crawford or Werth.
The reality, though, is that Hamilton is completely different from every other ballplayer on the planet. When he’s healthy, his skill-set is unmatched. This is about more than just the stuff between the lines, though.
There’s a history there, which the Rangers have gone to great lengths to work around. Because of his personal issues, Hamilton fell out of the game for 5 years and put himself in a no-win situation.
Time didn’t stop for him. He wants whatever’s fair, but fairness isn’t really part of the equation because Hamilton seems to want it both ways. He wants to be paid like Prince Fielder, but he’s 5 years older and can’t stay healthy. On top of that, there’s all of the off-the-field baggage that goes along with it.
For Hamilton, it should come down to one of two things. Either he stays with an organization that he’s comfortable with or he goes for that one big paycheck.
What I don’t want to see is the Rangers offering him both in the same package.
Press on, Rangers fans.