MLB Rumors: 5 Reasons Texas Rangers Should Re-Sign Josh Hamilton
5 Reasons Texas Rangers Should Re-Sign Josh Hamilton
The Texas Rangers have made it very clear they are perfectly content with slugger Josh Hamilton testing out free agency this upcoming off-season. In fact, a source inside Texas’ organization had this to say when asked about Hamilton’s return to the team: “Not even if he wants to play here for free next season.” However, should the Rangers consider re-signing the outfielder?
Hamilton has been the heart and soul of Texas for the last few years and is a huge reason why the team went to back-to-back World Series. His presence in the locker room alone should be enough for the Rangers to bring him back for an extended period. However, his bat is the reason why he will collect a giant paycheck.
Hamilton finished the season with a .285 batting average, 43 home runs, 128 RBIs, 31 doubles, 103 runs, 162 strikeouts, and a .577 slugging percentage in 562 plate appearances. For the most part, these numbers are the best of his career (with a few exceptions). The 162 strikeouts are definitely a concern for any team that goes after the 31-year-old outfielder, but his power numbers are enough to convince anyone to get past it.
There are several teams in the market for a middle of the order power hitter that can play decent defense as well. The Boston Red Sox are certainly at the top of the list considering their need for a top player and the cap space to outbid every other organization. However, the one thing the Red Sox do not have is history with Hamilton like Texas does. The following slides are five reasons the Rangers should re-sign Hamilton.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.
Threat in the Lineup
Hamilton started the 2012 season hitting home runs at a rapid pace. His 43 homers, 128 runs batted in and 31 doubles prove he is a huge threat in the Rangers batting order. It is not like Texas’ high-powered offense would not continue at a dominant pace without Hamilton, but opposing pitchers will certainly have an easier time navigating through the lineup.
Franchise Was Built Around Hamilton
The Rangers acquired Hamilton in 2008 and the star slugger has been at the top of his game ever since. Texas realized they had a special player and built a phenomenal cast around him. The Rangers could survive without Hamilton on the team and they will continue to contend in the American League West. However, if they built the franchise around him then why give up on that specific dream?
Consistently Puts Up Big Numbers
Texas has several players that will consistently put up big numbers for years to come. However, none of them will probably be able to match what Hamilton has done over the last few seasons. In five years with the Rangers, Hamilton has averaged 28 home runs, 101 RBIs, 31 doubles, 154 hits, and batted .303 in 595 at-bats per season. This type of consistency is rarely found in the majors, which means Texas has a gem in their possession that could get away if the team is not careful.
Rangers Believed in Him
The Rangers brought Hamilton to Texas for a reason and that was to win a championship. The team stuck with Hamilton through his battle with drug and alcohol addiction. They never gave up on him as he battled his demons on a nightly basis. Texas believed Hamilton could overcome his troubles and help the team win on and off the field. It would be a mistake for the Rangers to let him go after what the two parties have been through together.
Hamilton is seeking out a huge contract and many believe he will get somewhere around an eight-year, $160 million deal. The good news is the Rangers can afford this and since Hamilton wants to stay in Texas the two sides should be able to work out the deal.
"I would always love to stay here," Hamilton said. "They understand that and they know that. When we talked earlier in the year, we didn't get things worked out, so we said we'd wait until the year was over and they obviously get the first shot."
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