In an ongoing series, we'll address offseason questions the Texas Rangers have to answer.
Today we'll discuss the biggest, yet seemingly most obvious, question for the Rangers this offseason — what to do with the most interesting free agency case maybe in sports history, that of star outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton, who is two years removed from winning an AL MVP award and put up MVP numbers this past season, did enough bad to basically be written out of the entire Rangers fandom's mind when it comes to the possibility of re-signing him.
Safe money says Hamilton will be playing elsewhere in 2013, but as we discussed last week, the list of teams who seem to be in on pursuing Hamilton are few and far between. It all depends on if a team is willing to throw the pocket book at him like the Detroit Tigers did with Prince Fielder or the Los Angeles Angels did with Albert Pujols. The Rangers absolutely won't do that with Hamilton, and shouldn't.
Hamilton's production would obviously be missed in the heart of the Rangers' order, and of all the people we've discussed who could replace Hamilton, none of them would come close, statistically speaking. But there's also rumors out there that several within the organization have said they wouldn't bring Hamilton back if he offered to "play for free." That's pretty telling.
So should the Rangers get into a bidding war of their embattled superstar? Absolutely not. But what if no one else offers anything or no one else offers more than, say $25 million/year over 3-4 years? Do you consider it then? Logic says yes, rumored comments from Rangers folks say no amount is too cheap.