There has possibly never been a more interesting, polarizing free agency case in the history of sports than what is transpiring right now between the Texas Rangers and Josh Hamilton, a former AL MVP and a guy coming off a career-high amount of games played and home runs.
The 31-year-old has a well-documented history with addiction and has done certain, but unknown, damage to his body and has been injury-prone throughout his career even though he didn't make a trip to the disabled list in 2012 and played in 148 games.
But his effort and interest at times this past season was in question and he missed five key games down the stretch because he drank too much caffeine and couldn't see straight. Seriously.
It seems as though most Rangers fans have come to grips with the fact that he'll be elsewhere in 2013, but not so fast. The USA Today reports that a high-level team official said the Rangers will indeed make a legitimate offer to Hamilton, something they didn't do in this situation last year with C.J. Wilson. The offer will reportedly not eclipse three years, even though Hamilton has reportedly set his asking price at an astronomical seven years for $175 million. That most likely won't happen, but he could get five years from some team out there, and all it takes as one — just ask Prince Fielder.
There are also reports out there that Hamilton has expressed his interest in remaining a Ranger, and then there's the reports from just after the season came to an end that a club official said they wouldn't take him back if he offered to play for free and Mike Adams' comments on Sirius MLB Radio this week saying the team never knew which version of Hamilton would show up on any given day.
See the trend here? Lots of "reports".
Fact of the matter is, Hamilton is a highly productive player, but he also did a lot to disappoint in 2012 and the club might have just had enough of him, unless it comes on their seemingly cheap terms for such a productive player. There hasn't been much interest drummed up over Hamilton so far, at least not on his terms.
If the Rangers could bring back Hamilton for three years, or maybe three with an option, would you be interested? Or are you finished with the embattled superstar?