You won't find many people around these pages who are nauseated more than myself by the thought of Josh Hamilton and everything he did in his final season with the Rangers and during his subsequent courtship with the dirty, hated Los Angeles Angels.
Hamilton alienated his teammates by quitting on them, flailing at balls left and right down the stretch of the 2012 season and gingerly jogging after a dropped fly ball that could've kept the Rangers in the AL West hunt but instead cost them their third straight division crown. He alienated Rangers fans and the city with his stupid — even if it's correct — "baseball town" comments,
Hamilton is complicated. He always has been, and the Rangers' reunion with the 2010 AL MVP is just as complex. There is still bitterness around here involving the star outfielder, and there are just as many people who would run through a wall for Hamilton.
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No matter which side of the fence you're on, he's back now, and from a baseball perspective for the Rangers — a last-place team in a jumbled, bad division — it makes total sense.
Give the Rangers credit. They're basically getting Hamilton, who will turn 34 next month, for eight cents on the dollar — paying less than $7 million of his remaining $83 million contract owed by the Angels over three years. And, to top it off, they have an opt-out after the 2016 season. Who are we kidding? They could cut him loose next month and be no worse for the wear. It truly is a no-risk deal for a team that is admittedly desperate.
What if they get numbers similar to what he did in LA, when he was basically a 20-homer a year player? That'd be fantastic, and it would peg him right in the middle of a Rangers' batting order that features Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. But what if they get more from a guy who's in his self-admitted comfort zone again? Then, you're talking about the steal of the century.
What if Hamilton hits a bomb to beat the Angels in one of their remaining 13 games this year? The Angels would literally be paying him to do so, and paying him a ton of cash.
It's really an awesome deal all the way around, now it's up to Hamilton to really make it worthwhile. We'll see if he can do it.