It’s Time To Go
By: Shawn Krause
I would like to state for the record I am a fan of the Texas Rangers. In the 25 years of watching baseball, these last 2 seasons have been the best of my life. With all that being said, I am afraid some of you won’t like what I am about to say, but I’m afraid that it is time to make a trade at the trade deadline or let Josh Hamilton leave as a free agent. No I am not crazy, let me state my case.
First let me say that I do not know what it is like to be an addict. I can’t imagine what it would be like knowing that any day I could fall off the “wagon” and have my life spiral out of control. Part of me saying that I would be ok with Texas trading him does have to do with the escapades of the other night. In case you don’t know he was drinking at Sherlocks bar in North Dallas. He also allegedly had sexual relations with a girl in the bathroom. That part isn’t confirmed by Josh, but according to deadspin.com (take that for what its worth) there is eye witness accounts that he did take a girl in the bathroom and had relations with her. The other part is for baseball reasons.
Since being traded to Texas in 2007 the most games he has played in was in 2008 when he played in 156 games.
2009 he only played in 89 games.
2010 he played in 133 games.
2011 he played in 121 games.
2010 was the MVP season for Josh, and in only 133 games he hit .359 (which is a career high), had 32 HR and drove in 100 runs. This season Josh will turn 32 in May and his salary this season is 13.75 million dollars. I know he is good for 30 HRs and 100+ RBIs, but you also know he is good for missing at least 30 to as many as 50 games due to injury. At almost 14 million dollars you can’t afford to pay that much money to your best player to be on the disabled list twice a season.
With Josh coming free at the end of the season, Texas has to take a long hard look at his situation. As a free agent he will likely want a 5 or even 6 year deal at 19-20 per season. Even if the contract is a 5-year deal he will be 37 in the last year of the contract. 19 or 20 million is way too much money to be spending on a 37 year old, whose body by then may be a 47 year old after the wear and tear of playing baseball, and all of the drugs that he did when he was younger. The Rangers wouldn’t match the 10 years that Detroit gave Prince Fielder, because they didn’t feel paying 25 million dollars to a 37 year old was worth the risk. In the same time frame (2007-2011), Prince only missed a total of 5 games, and in 2009 and last season played in every single game. What would make you think that Josh can even play in 100 games by the time he is 37?
With all that being said, yes, I understand the Rangers wouldn’t have made it to back to back World Series without him, but last season during the playoffs he was hurt and was unproductive. Even to the point of manager Ron Washington was asked during the World Series if he was considering moving Josh down in the lineup because he wasn’t producing as a number 3 hitter. With the combination of the off the field issues and his age, I think the Rangers would be better off in the long term to try and trade him at the deadline, as opposed to letting him walk in free agency and getting nothing in return.