While it has been reported as one of the most important issues of the off season was getting the core group of players signed to long term deals, and that includes Josh Hamilton. Last years AL MVP, but there has been a bit of a difference of what is willing to be paid and what he wants and or deserves to be paid. Josh has been a great pick up for the team and was gotten at a very cheap rate for what he has produced. It is understandable that the guy feels like he deserves a raise. Hamilton made 3 million last year and he came to the Rangers asking for around 12 million, and the Rangers countered with 8 Million. While the fans are divided on this thought, I have decided to take into account some of the pros and cons of the whole ordeal.
- Very hard nosed player
Josh Hamilton plays the game like a kid, he will dive and charge into walls without any thought or fear of injury. It is very refreshing to see this type of passion in today’s game.
- Strong arm in the outfield
He can catch a one hopper, or ground ball deep in the outfield and throw it on a dime to home plate and has easily saved numerous runs in many games.
- Really solid bat and makes teams respect him in the line up
With his position in the line up, he is very dangerous. Teams will not pitch to him if they can help it, but when they do, he makes them pay.
- A threat to steal
Even at his size, he is very quick and nimble on the base paths. Josh can hit and steal with the best of them.
- A positive influence on younger players
With as widely publicized as his past is, he can help young and up coming players stay out of trouble by mentoring them.
- Always a risk for injury
With the way he plays the game, and even his past, there will always be a risk of injury. This could potentially scare the club from putting a huge financial stake into him.
- Past will always lead to questions
Everything he does, no matter how innocent will always lead to questions and concerns. Unfortunately will be part of his career until he retires.
- Getting a big payday could risk him becoming lazy
While this goes with any player in Major League Baseball, after everything Josh has been through there has to be some thoughts this could happen.
- Weakened immune system from past
It came out that Hamilton came down with pneumonia, which has led to people to question if he can stay healthy after all the abuse his body took.
- Style of Play could shorten career
He plays very hard and reckless with his body while playing in the field. This could lead to him taking years off his career, but nothing has been proven to back this up.
Looking at everything as a whole, I would say that I can see both sides of the argument. I can understand why the club wouldn’t want to pony up and the bank over Hamilton, but at the same time, I can understand why Hamilton wants the max he can get. They are reported to go to Arbitration on February 14th, hopefully they can come to an agreement and keep this from getting ugly and building resentment. The best thing to do is for the Rangers to offer up a 9 or 10 Million contract and have some incentives in the contract where he could possibly earn the additional 2 million he wants. Rangers fans just don’t want to see Hamilton leave after everything he has done for this team over a couple million dollars.