Life After Josh

**ORIGINAL POST DATE 6/26/12**

 

It seems like only yesterday that Ranger fans were demanding that J.D. and Co. pay Josh Hamilton whatever he wants. Even Randy Galloway (never one to pass up a chance to sensationalize a subject), was saying to cough up $180 million to the North Carolina native.Where are these people now? It has been a long time since I have seen a “#paytheman” tweet on Twitter. As I have mentioned before, baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Hamilton can be the Sultan of Swat one month and the Sultan of Squat the next.

On Monday morning, even Ben Rogers had come around to the reality that is the Josh Hamilton situation: “I’ve come to an iron clad conclusion: Rangers should not bring back the best player in baseball.”

The average fan and the local media are realizing what the rest of us have known for awhile; Josh will cost too much and is not worth the risk beyond the 2012 season.

I believe the Rangers will do one of two things:
Offer Josh the “CJ offer”: There is a possibility that the Rangers low-ball Josh with an offer or never really even give him an offer depending on what the market will look like this offseason. This is how the Rangers handled the CJ situation, and though the Rangers are more invested in Josh, this is a possibility.or

Offer Josh the “Cliff Lee offer”: In this case, the Rangers go after Josh hard and give him a legit offer, but still won’t go that extra year to make it happen. This offer is the most likely to happen and one that I would advocate. This type of offer places the onus on Josh and makes him the “bad guy” if/when he decides to take slightly more money and/or years elsewhere.
Who makes up Josh’s productivity in 2013 and beyond? The short answer is nobody, but there is a player in particular that fits the team and is a productive player: Nick Swisher. When his name is mentioned on Twitter, most Ranger fans compare him to a feminine cleansing product, but this line of thinking stems from the fact that he plays on the Yankees. Swisher is a solid clubhouse guy who is the kind of guy Washington likes: he’s versatile (plays both corner outfield positions and first base).

By not signing Josh, the Rangers can sign Napoli (4/50) and Swisher (3/36) to much more team-friendly deals than what it would cost for Josh. Swisher has averaged a 122.5 OPS+ the last four season while playing well above-average in LF and RF, and an average 1B (UZR).
2013 OutfieldLF: Swisher
CF: Martin
RF: Cruz
Bench: Gentry, Murphy

Enjoy the rest of this season and soak up all the memories of Josh Hamilton in a Ranger uniform. Hopefully, he can help the team win their first World Series and ride off into the sunset.

Eddie Middlebrook is the Chat Coordinator and Junior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Eddie.Middlebrook@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @emiddlebrook 

Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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