Paying big bucks for superstars these days is nothing new to the MLB and its teams. However, when you pay top-dollar for someone, you expect they will perform, and perform well.
Well, the Los Angeles Angels are in the midst of season one with their free agent bust, Josh Hamilton. While the season is far from over, the Angels are three games under .500, nine games out of first place and Hamilton is hitting just .224 with 41 RBI more than halfway through the 2013 season.
A year ago at this time, Hamilton was hitting .298 with 28 homers and 78 RBI with the Texas Rangers. He was proving himself as one of the best outfielders in baseball and the Rangers looked to have an MVP candidate on their hands.
It’s no longer 2012 and Hamilton’s 14 homers and 41 RBI are half of his production from last year and the Angels have a reason to be upset about their five-year, $125 million contract. Sure, it’s a lot of money to be paying a guy who turned 32 in May and played in just four full seasons before 2013, but the Angels liked what they saw and wanted to add another big piece in the middle of their lineup on top of Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols.
OK, so maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to pay a guy an average of $25 million per year if he’s only hit over .300 twice, more than 25 homers just four times and over 100 RBI just three times.
There’s no doubt that Josh Hamilton is a star baseball player, but paying him the amount of money they did just set the 32-year-old up for failure. Guaranteeing him as much money they did must have made him think he could do nothing wrong and that’s what ultimately led to his demise.
I’m sure Hamilton will be a star once again, but right now, his spotlight is fading as one of 2012 free agency’s biggest busts.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.