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Friday, December 07, 2012

Winter Meetings Over, But Josh Hamilton Market Ongoing - Over the Monster

I keep reading that the Red Sox would have to trade Ellsbury if they signed Hamilton. Why? With Hamilton in left, Ellsbury in center, and Victorino in right, there would still be plenty of ABs available for Gomes as a 4th outfielder/DH.

I still don’t think it’s likely Hamilton will end up in Boston. But, if he’s available at 3-4 years, it’s possible. The move would make the Sox wild card contenders while not restricting their long-term plans.

Boston signed Shane Victorino at the winter meetings, in a move that presumably locked up their outfield for 2013. However, thanks to Victorino’s ability to play center field, Jacoby Ellsbury—who has just one year remaining with the Red Sox—could be traded, opening up right field once more. The Red Sox seem to only want to do this in a deal that brings them controllable starting pitching, but their desire to do that very thing could be increased if they’re able to bring in another outfielder. Say, Josh Hamilton.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:49 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency, josh hamilton, mariners, rangers, red sox

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   1. eddieot Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4319405)
So the market is down to three years for Hamilton? This has Phillies written all over it ... wtf Ruben?
   2. Randy Jones Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4319409)
Seems like on a 3 year deal, Hamilton would be a good fit for a whole lot of teams.
   3. Knock on any Iorg Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4319422)
At 3 years Hamilton is more attractive, but better have a decent backup on hot standby for the inevitable Hamilton injury.
   4. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4319427)
But, if he’s available at 3-4 years, it’s possible. The move would make the Sox wild card contenders while not restricting their long-term plans.


At 3-4 years, I might disown the team if they don't sign him. Unless they're just radically outbid- 30+ or something like that.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4319441)
So the market is down to three years for Hamilton? This has Phillies written all over it ... wtf Ruben?


I would be absolutely shocked if Hamilton signs for only 3 years.
   6. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4319443)
I would be absolutely shocked if Hamilton signs for only 3 years.


For the record I agree with this. Have to think Seattle would go to 5 or 6 if that's what it took.
   7. The Good Face Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4319448)
I would be absolutely shocked if Hamilton signs for only 3 years.


For the record I agree with this. Have to think Seattle would go to 5 or 6 if that's what it took.


Same. Unless somebody just blew him away with a massive, unprecedented AAV, I'd be shocked if Hamilton took less than 4 years. 5 seems like the most likely number to me.
   8. Russ Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4319449)

Pirates were in contention up until August last year. They should definitely give him 5 or 6 years if people are only offering 3 or 4. Having Hamilton in the lineup for even just 100 games would make them a significantly better team.

   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4319453)
I said it in one of the other threads, if he signs for less than five years a LOT of teams really blew it. I am 100% on board with the fact that he comes with reasons for caution but on a four year deal I think you have to gamble on it.
   10. Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4319463)
It's all a balance. The longer the contract, the fewer the dollars per year. Assuming he will get a contract longer than four years (maybe even three) is a mistake.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4319473)
Assuming he will get a contract longer than four years (maybe even three) is a mistake.


I don't think so - it is almost unprecedented in the modern era for big stars entering free agency after their first 6 years of service time to sign huge AAV deals for only 1 or 2 years.

There was lots of speculation last year that Fielder wouldn't be offered deals longer than 4 years because of his physique.
   12. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4319486)
I don't think so - it is almost unprecedented in the modern era for big stars entering free agency after their first 6 years of service time to sign huge AAV deals for only 1 or 2 years.

There was lots of speculation last year that Fielder wouldn't be offered deals longer than 4 years because of his physique.

Yup, and I thought that was baloney at the time. No way Hamilton signs for less than 5.
   13. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4319512)
I think several teams would make a run at him at 4 years, which is why I think somebody will go at least 5.
   14. Wichita Wranglers Baseball Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4319515)
Yup, and I thought that was baloney at the time. No way Hamilton signs for less than 5.


Hamilton at 3/70 or something in that neighborhood would be the yin to Fielder's 9/214 yang in terms of shocking contracts, at least for me. Baseball sure loves its player makeup hand-wringing, but that would be a stunning undervaluation of production.

Edited to note that injury concerns are meaningful, but I can't see how they knock Hamilton down to anything under 5 years.
   15. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4319519)
I've been averse to the Rangers signing Hamilton to some interminable contract of Vernon-Wellsian dimensions, but local columnists conveyed some optimism for him returning for a shorter-term deal. If that comes to pass, it's still not a great idea, but it's not my money, and I'd be delighted to see Josh at the Ballpark next year.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4319522)
For teams, the positive side effect of needing to add years to an offer in order to entice a player is that you have that player on your team for those extra years. E.G. it is more likely than not that Hamilton will be a useful player for a team in 2017.
   17. dave h Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4319524)
I think it's pretty well established that premium players are compensated by longer deals, which is why I don't think the $/win numbers are right. The question is: why is this the case, and is it likely to change anytime soon? Certainly the Red Sox are driving towards shorter contracts, but it seems to be at the cost of missing out on the big names.
   18. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4319534)
you have that player on your team for those extra years

And, as I mentioned, then there's Vernon Wells :)
   19. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: December 07, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4319566)
Hamilton at 3 years should be interesting to basically every team, Iwould think
   20. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 07, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4319581)
E.G. it is more likely than not that Hamilton will be a useful player for a team in 2017.

Yes, and a 3 WAR player for $25M isn't a disaster. I think 5 WAR is a lot more likely than 1 WAR in any of the next 5 years for Hamilton.

And, as I mentioned, then there's Vernon Wells :)

Well sure, and Denny Neagle and Mike Hampton and Barry Zito and Carl Crawford, but none of these guys had Hamilton's talent. The only disastrous contracts for a Hamilton-level superstar that I can think of were Albert Belle with the Orioles, Ken Griffey Jr with the Reds, and Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees Part II. Here is a list of the highest paid players in MLB history:

Alex Rodriguez
Derek Jeter
Manny Ramirez
Barry Bonds
Randy Johnson
Gary Sheffield
Chipper Jones
Greg Maddux
Ken Griffey Jr
Todd Helton
Roger Clemens
Carlos Delgado
Pedro Martinez
Mike Mussina
Mariano Rivera
Jim Thome
John Smoltz
Carlos Beltran
Magglio Ordonez
Jason Giambi

Other than Rodriguez and Griffey, I think the biggest contract those guys signed all turned out OK.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4319586)
Aw, man, It would have worked out perfectly if that Pedro deal with the Sox had been just one year longer.
   22. Willie Mayspedes Posted: December 07, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4319612)
Yes, and a 3 WAR player for $25M isn't a disaster. I think 5 WAR is a lot more likely than 1 WAR in any of the next 5 years for Hamilton.


Or 0 WAR due to injury.
   23. donlock Posted: December 07, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4319647)
Did we ever hear who the Tigers outbid for the Prince? I think nobody else would have done that deal but Detroit. Hamilton may get a long tern deal because the signing team thinks they have to go 7 years to beat a phantom competitor.
   24. bookbook Posted: December 07, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4319650)
Mark my words, Hamilton's a Dodger this time next month.
   25. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4319653)
Fair enough, Grushenko. Agreed that Hamilton is closer to Chipper Jones than, say, Michael Young in talent.

It is worth noting, though, that Hamilton's actual career WAR numbers (per B-Ref, rounding up or down) are:

2, 5, 0, 8, 4, 3.

That scants him one total because he's got a few .4s in there. But still, to see him a consistent 7-8 WAR player is very optimistic, and it's even tough to project that he'll turn 32 next May, play at 5-6 WAR level for a few years, and then decline normally toward 3 for the last few years of a big contract.

I mean, I hope he does, and I hope he does it in Arlington, but I'm a fan, not a general manager :)
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4319659)
Mark my words, Hamilton's a Dodger this time next month.


Hamilton-Kemp-Gonzalez would be a very tough lineup stretch to navigate.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4319673)
Hamilton's not a superstar in the talent sense (as bdc notes). He might be in the name recognition sense but I don't care about that (but a team might).

His career OPS+ is "just" 135 and, outside of his one amazing year and his one lousy year, he's been consistently around that mark. That's Matt Holliday, not Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera. He's done that spending about 60% of his time in CF which is nice but he's not likely a CF going forward.

Of course he will get more than 3-4 years, probably at least 5/$100.

Other than Rodriguez and Griffey, I think the biggest contract those guys signed all turned out OK.

The first AROD contract turned out great. That initial contract would have covered his age 25-34 seasons and he hit 299/394/577, 150 OPS+, 424 HR, averaged 113 R and 124 RBI per season and put up ... wait for it ... 69 WAR. That was about $3.5 M per WAR. And from the Yanks perspective, since Texas was picking up something like $9 M a year, it was a ridiculously good bargain.

The extension? Not so much. And I forget exactly when the opt out was but 2008-10 (ages 32-34) were the worst of that 10 year period so the pre-opt-out years were an even better bargain.
   28. zonk Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4319676)
Hamilton at 3 years should be interesting to basically every team, Iwould think


I don't know... the really bad teams -- at least, the bad teams that don't have GMs desperate to throw job-saving hail mary's in 2013 -- really shouldn't have much interest in 3 years.

I wouldn't be upset if the Cubs signed him at 3 years - but seems (likely) pointless... I'd put the Astros in that same category.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4319679)
Mark my words, Hamilton's a Dodger this time next month.

Kemp 7/$148
Crawford 5/$102.5
Ethier 5/$85
Gonzalez 6/$127

and you think they're going to add Hamilton? Is the DH coming to the NL?
   30. bachslunch Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4319685)
and it's even tough to project that he'll turn 32 next May, play at 5-6 WAR level for a few years, and then decline normally toward 3 for the last few years of a big contract.

I'll take a bet that at least the first one of these happens.

   31. Dan Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4319686)
Mark my words, Hamilton's a Dodger this time next month.


So that they can pay Crawford $100M over the next 5 years to be a 4th outfielder? I don't think even the Dodgers can afford that kind of largesse.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4319690)
If they signed Hamilton, they would trade Ethier
   33. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4319696)
His career OPS+ is "just" 135 and, outside of his one amazing year and his one lousy year, he's been consistently around that mark. That's Matt Holliday, not Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera.

Ya, an injury prone Matt Holliday isn't that attractive a proposition for a big contract. That said, I don't think 5/$100 would kill a team that signed him to that even in a 10-15 WAR scenario total. I think I'd go to that level if I needed an OF.
   34. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: December 07, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4319707)
If they signed Hamilton, they would trade Ethier


Can Ethier play left and will the Dodgers take Dan Uggla.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4319718)
yes and yes
   36. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4319739)
I'll take a bet that at least the first one of these happens

Hey, I do Syntax Police around here :-D
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4319773)
If they signed Hamilton, they would trade Ethier

They just signed Ethier to the 5/$85 6 months ago and you think they've already soured on him?

And what team wants to give up talent to get Ethier at 5/$85 rather than just sign Hamilton? The Dodgers will, at best, end up giving away Ethier for next to nothing.

   38. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4319796)
I thought I remembered some Ethier trade rumors earlier in the offseason, which yes would be weird because of the extension.

And what team wants to give up talent to get Ethier at 5/$85 rather than just sign Hamilton? The Dodgers will, at best, end up giving away Ethier for next to nothing.


If they signed Hamilton, they wouldn't be trading Ethier in order to get back talent, they would just want to open up the slot. They'd be fine only getting someone to take his whole contract. I don't think these events are likely, I was just going along with #24 and that possibility.
   39. puck Posted: December 08, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4319846)
I don't know... the really bad teams -- at least, the bad teams that don't have GMs desperate to throw job-saving hail mary's in 2013 -- really shouldn't have much interest in 3 years.

I wouldn't be upset if the Cubs signed him at 3 years - but seems (likely) pointless... I'd put the Astros in that same category.


I would love it if the Rockies signed him to a 3 yr deal. Who cares if he only helps nudge them towards .500, he's not blocking anyone and would hit a ton and help make the team more fun to watch.
   40. JJ1986 Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4323894)
The Angels are apparently in "serious negotiations" with Hamilton.
   41. Poster Nutbag Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4323949)
I hear they are wrapping up said Angels contract....

(Looks like 5 years)
   42. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4323965)
Trout-Hamilton-Pujols. Sounds scary to this non-Angels fan.
   43. JJ1986 Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4323967)
Jay Jaffe:

the likelihood of Josh Hamilton becoming an Angel is the same likelihood as him dancing on the head of a pin. C'mon, people
   44. Poster Nutbag Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4323970)
Silly Jaffe....I think it's already a done deal....I'd be willing to eat my words, but all signs point to this being a done deal for 5 years...

Edit: Done and done, per Rosenthal
   45. Danny Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4323973)
Jay Jaffe:

Pretty bizarre how adamant he was that the Angels rumors were fictitious.
   46. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4323974)
ESPN LA is reporting 5/125, though I'd take that with a grain of salt at this stage.
   47. Poster Nutbag Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4323975)
#45 I thought the same thing.....is he a Tex or Sea fan or something?!?!
   48. JJ1986 Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4323977)
is he a Tex or Sea fan or something?!?!


I think he's a Yankees fan.

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