Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers talk as they walk out to the field after Hamilton struck out to end the bottom of the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles during the American League Wild Card playoff game.
Former MLB general manager/ESPN columnist/Sirius-XM radio host Jim Bowden wrote Tuesday that the top free agent this winter, Josh Hamilton, is still best served by returning to the Texas Rangers.
There's one pretty big problem with what Bowden wrote, and that's the fact that the Rangers probably don't really want Hamilton back unless it's on their short-term, yet reasonably priced terms, though Rangers brass refuted a report last week that they would not offer Hamilton more than a three-year deal. My guess? That's just talk and that parameter is actually legit.
As Bowden suggests in the Insider (subscription) column, the Rangers won't make the biggest offer to Hamilton — that'll come from someone like Seattle, Baltimore or possibly Milwaukee — but he doesn't believe in the three-year limit (I do).
But I think the best fit for Hamilton remains the Rangers. They are the most familiar with Hamilton and all the issues that come with him. They have a strong support team in place for him and are willing to give him a competitive average annual value. I don’t think three years will get it done, and I’ll be shocked if the Rangers don’t go to a fourth or even a fifth year for him. Simply, the Rangers have been a much better team over the past three years with Hamilton in the lineup and he won’t be easily replaced if he leaves.
That's what Bowden thinks. And on the surface, what he said is true. Texas would be the best fit for Hamilton as they've been so patient with him over the past five years and have a great support system in place. But unless it's on the Rangers very specific terms, it seems as though Hamilton has burned too many bridges in recent months.
What do you think?