Nov 012012
 
Josh Hamilton 10

According to Dayn Perry (CBSSportsline), the odds-makers over at Bovada.lv have put out odds on where Josh Hamilton will sign this offseason.


Who will sign Josh Hamilton next?

San Francisco Giants: 3-1
Atlanta Braves: 5-1
Texas Rangers: 5-1
Philadelphia Phillies: 7-1
New York Yankees: 9-1
Chicago Cubs: 9-1
Boston Red Sox: 9-1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 10-1
Toronto Blue Jays: 10-1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 15-1


Let me be the first to say that there are a few teams on this list that I think have no shot or no interest in Hamilton

Phillies – No interest and no shot.  Unless they can find a way to unload some of the veteran contracts that they currently have in place, I just don’t see GM Ruben Amaro adding another large contract to the mix, especially a player north of 30 years old.  Here is a quick look at some of their top salaries for 2013:

  • Roy Halladay – $20M

    <b>Thursday Sound Off:</b> Hambones New Home...<br><b>Prediction:</b> Staying in Texas

    Hamels with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro

  • Cole Hamels – $19.5M
  • Ryan Howard – $20M
  • Cliff Lee – $25M
  • Jon Papelbon – $13M
  • Jimmy Rollins – $11M
  • Chase Utley – $15M
That’s $123.5M for 7 players, most of which are getting a little long in the tooth.  This is NOT a team that is going to give a 4-6 year contract to Josh Hamilton.  In addition, the fan base in Philly is quick to turn on poor performance and lack of effort – can you imagine the treatment Josh would have gotten from the fans down the stretch in 2012 if he had been playing for Philly?

Cubs – No interest.  Theo Epstein is in the process of rebuilding and while the Cubs will soon be at a point where they are ready to supplement a strong base of talent in free agency, they aren’t their yet.  Hamilton’s age and the potential for injury and fatigue due to his past and playing style just don’t fit in Theo’s plan.  Cubs fan’s would love Josh…but it’s not happening.

Pirates – Are you kidding me?  No shot.

Official Prediction

Don’t see any odds on the field (everyone else), but would assume they would be somewhere around 30-1, if not larger.  I’d bet on the field at 30-1 (heck, even 25-1) before I’d consider the Phillies, Cubs or Pirates.

In fact, the team that I think will sign Josh Hamilton is not even mentioned above.

My official prediction as to who will sign Josh Hamilton….as of right now….always subject to change….

The Houston Astros

<b>Thursday Sound Off:</b> Hambones New Home...<br><b>Prediction:</b> Staying in TexasIs this crazy?  Here is my thinking:

  • Money: They have to have money!  They don’t have anyone on their current roster that is deserving of a big contract, so they must have the money to make it happen, even considering they’ll have to overpay.
  • Ownership: Jim Crane is a crazy ass, looking for attention and desperately seeking any opportunity to make a big splash.  So much so, he was considering bringing the Roger Clemens circus to town late in the 2012 season.  Signing Josh Hamilton and being the “mystery team” would be a BIG splash.
  • Location: Josh and his family are clearly comfortable in the DFW area and while it’s still five hours away…it’s as close as he’s gonna get to staying here.
  • AL West: The Astros will be joining the Rangers in the AL West starting in 2013.  Josh is familiar with the lay of the land in the AL West, which benefits the Astros and provides a certain level of comfort for Josh.
  • Houston Fans: Low expectations…if any.  The excitement generated over the signing would follow Josh into the regular season and mask any lack of effort or disinterest – if those issues are still there – which I don’t think they will be.

Nevermind the fact that the Astros are horrible.  I think Josh will value the situation and the contract more than any team’s current level of play or postseason hopes.

Prediction #2 - Josh will play like a man possessed in 2013 and win the AL MVP despite:

  • Houston’s weak lineup which provides him no protection
  • The fact that the Astros will be out of the playoff race by mid-April
This sucks given his poor exit from the Rangers…but you know you agree.

So, what do you think?  Have I sold you on Josh in a Astros uniform in 2013?  Or do you trust the odds provided by Bovada?

Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments section.

What uniform will Josh be wearing in 2013?
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Texas (Rangers)
Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants
L.A. Dodgers
Houston Astros
Other (leave comments)
View Result
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Oct 252012
 
Barry Zito, yep Barry Zito, did it with his arm and his bat last night.
Thoughts on Game One of the 2012 World Series

Yeah, you don’t let this guy beat you. You just don’t.

And just like that, the first World Series game that has not included the Texas Rangers since 2009 has come and gone.

Plain and simple, it just feels weird to watch the Fall Classic without our favorite team in the mix. I’m not the only one that’s upset. Famed denizen of the Texas State Fair, “Big Tex” was so bereaved by the Rangers’ late-season collapse and subsequent postseason exit that he set himself on fire…presumably in protest.

Or something like that. Personally, I always thought of Big Tex as more of a football fan, but I guess the Dallas Cowboys haven’t really done too much to keep the flame from the flesh either, so to speak.

Here’re some notes/observations from last night’s San Francisco Giants thrashing of the seemingly hapless Detroit Tigers:

• My first thought after the conclusion of the San Francisco Giants’ 8-3 game one win was that: “Former Ranger Joaquin Arias is going to get a freaking World Series ring before any current Ranger.” This initial notion led me to consume beer number nine whilst moving on to my second thought on the matter which was: “$hit.”

• I realize that some of this was necessitated by days of rest and what not, but by using Barry Zito in game one—and unbelievably getting a win out of him—the G-men have effectively reversed their rotation. Zito last night, Madison Bumgarner tonight, Ryan Vogelsong for game three, and ace Matt Cain for game four…if you’re a Giants fan you’ve got to like this; especially if Bumgarner can put together a strong start.

• Last night was the first time this postseason that the Giants have won a game one. I don’t think the Tigers are the type of team to rally from being down 2-0 or 3-0 like San Francisco has done. In other words…

Doug Fister needs to pitch well tonight. He needs to find an answer to the 37-year-old riddle named “Marco Scutaro.” He’s got to keep Pablo Sandoval in the park and off of the base paths. Fister needs to avoid the big inning; he doesn’t need to dominate but he does need to keep the San Fran offense to a minimum.

• So, at what point last night did I realize that the Tigers were going to lose game one? The exact moment that Barry Zito went “oppo” for an RBI single.

• Last night’s big third-inning gained steam for San Fran with two outs when Angel Pagan—”Pagan Angel” for those with dyslexia or Tigers fans—hit a double right off of third base. Literally. His hit immediately brought back memories from last year’s ALCS when Miguel Cabrera ripped a shot off of third base in Detroit against the Rangers. I’d go on about karma but thinking of last year’s ALCS—since the Rangers were not only a part of it but the eventual victors—makes me sad.

• Well, at least the St. Louis Cardinals have been eliminated, huh?

I’d like to know your World Series predictions and thoughts. Before last night, I had the Tigers winning it all in six games. What do you think? Just use our comments section below to let us know how you see the 2012 Fall Classic playing out.

Thoughts on Game One of the 2012 World Series

And to think, had the Rangers made it past the Orioles, the Big Tex tragedy could have been avoided.

@TMurrayHowell

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Oct 252012
 
Mike Napoli 7

With Mike Napoli entering free agency and the Rangers silent (as expected) in regards to trying to bring him back, much off-season trade talk is centering around the backstop position.

On Monday, T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com) wrote:

Texas could have interest in J.P. Arencibia, who was the Toronto starter the past two seasons. Arencibia hit .233 with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs, a .275 on-base percentage and a .435 slugging percentage over 102 games.

The 26-year-old has two-plus years of Major League experience and is not yet eligible for arbitration. He missed six weeks in the second half with a broken right hand and only threw out 18.5 percent of attempted basestealers.

Thursday Sound Off   Whos catching in 2013?

J.P. Arencibia

Sullivan goes on to mention Derek Holland or Alexi Ogando as likely candidates to swap for Arencibia.

Another intriguing backstop from the Jays organization is top prospect Travis d’Arnaud, but I think it’s less likely that the Rangers trade for d’Arnaud unless they are able to secure a stop-gap catcher (Ryan Hanigan mentioned by Jamey Newberg) as well to hold the position until they are convinced he is ready for the majors.

As of now, assuming Napoli were to sign elsewhere and nothing else was done to address the position, Geovany Soto would be the starting catcher on Opening Day 2013.

A few things to note:

  • Napoli will be 31 years-old on Halloween and there have been contract numbers estimated in the range of 4-6 years at $50-$80 million.
  • The 26 year-old Arencibia isn’t eligible for free agency until 2017.
  • Ogando and Holland are both under control through 2016, with a team option on Holland for ’17 and ’18.
  • Other catchers on the free agent market: Russell Martin, A.J. Pierzynski (die), David Ross, Gerald Laird, Kelly Shoppach.

A look at the numbers:

J.P. Arencibia

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 24 TOR 11 35 3 5 1 0 2 4 2 11 .143 .189 .343 .532
2011 25 TOR 129 443 47 97 20 4 23 78 36 133 .219 .282 .438 .720
2012 26 TOR 102 347 45 81 16 0 18 56 18 108 .233 .275 .435 .710
3 Yrs 242 825 95 183 37 4 43 138 56 252 .222 .275 .433 .708
162 Game Avg. 162 552 64 123 25 3 29 92 37 169 .222 .275 .433 .708
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Mike Napoli

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2006 24 LAA 99 268 47 61 13 0 16 42 51 90 .228 .360 .455 .815
2007 25 LAA 75 219 40 54 11 1 10 34 33 63 .247 .351 .443 .794
2008 26 LAA 78 227 39 62 9 1 20 49 35 70 .273 .374 .586 .960
2009 27 LAA 114 382 60 104 22 1 20 56 40 103 .272 .350 .492 .842
2010 28 LAA 140 453 60 108 24 1 26 68 42 137 .238 .316 .468 .784
2011 29 TEX 113 369 72 118 25 0 30 75 58 85 .320 .414 .631 1.046
2012 30 TEX 108 352 53 80 9 2 24 56 56 125 .227 .343 .469 .812
7 Yrs 727 2270 371 587 113 6 146 380 315 673 .259 .356 .507 .863
162 Game Avg. 162 506 83 131 25 1 33 85 70 150 .259 .356 .507 .863
LAA (5 yrs) 506 1549 246 389 79 4 92 249 201 463 .251 .346 .485 .831
TEX (2 yrs) 221 721 125 198 34 2 54 131 114 210 .275 .379 .552 .931
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Derek Holland

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS CG IP H HR BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 22 TEX 8 13 6.12 33 21 1 138.1 160 26 47 107 1.496 3.1 7.0 2.28
2010 23 TEX 3 4 4.08 14 10 0 57.1 55 6 24 54 1.378 3.8 8.5 2.25
2011 24 TEX 16 5 3.95 32 32 4 198.0 201 22 67 162 1.354 3.0 7.4 2.42
2012 25 TEX 12 7 4.67 29 27 0 175.1 162 32 52 145 1.221 2.7 7.4 2.79
4 Yrs 39 29 4.71 108 90 5 569.0 578 86 190 468 1.350 3.0 7.4 2.46
162 Game Avg. 13 10 4.71 37 31 2 195 199 30 65 161 1.350 3.0 7.4 2.46
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Alexi Ogando

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
2010 26 TEX 4 1 1.30 44 0 0 0 41.2 31 2 16 39 1.128 3.5 8.4
2011 27 TEX 13 8 3.51 31 29 1 0 169.0 149 16 43 126 1.136 2.3 6.7
2012 28 TEX 2 0 3.27 58 1 0 3 66.0 49 9 17 66 1.000 2.3 9.0
3 Yrs 19 9 3.12 133 30 1 3 276.2 229 27 76 231 1.102 2.5 7.5
162 Game Avg. 8 4 3.12 55 13 0 1 115 96 11 32 96 1.102 2.5 7.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Others if interested: Russell Martin, A.J. Pierzynski (die), David Ross, Gerald Laird, Kelly Shoppach

So, there are a few options in regards to the 2013 backstop.  What do you think?  Vote on the poll and sound off in the comments section.

What do you think the Rangers should do in regards to the catcher position this off-season?
Resign Napoli (4-6 yrs. @ $13-15M per)
Trade Holland for Arencibia
Trade Ogando for Arencibia
Sign stop-gap and trade for prospect
Roll with Soto
Other (add comments)
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Oct 182012
 
Rangers' rookies Tanner Scheppers, Justin Grimm, and Wilmer Font could be viable options to replace Mike Adams.
MLB Free Agent Mike Adams: Should Rangers Re Sign the Righty?

Rangers’ rookies Tanner Scheppers, Justin Grimm, and Wilmer Font could be viable options to replace Mike Adams.

Like most of us, I’m still smarting from the fact that Major League Baseball decided to continue its postseason even after the Texas Rangers were eliminated.

Seems kind of rude, doesn’t it?

So I guess It’s time to move on. And move on we shall. The Texas Rangers are going to be an excellent team for many years to come, even if Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli end up signing elsewhere.

Today we take a look at yet another Texas Rangers free agent, right-handed reliever Mike Adams.

Mike Adams—2012 stats: (5-3, 3.27 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 2.9 BB/9)

Due to injury, Adams wasn’t going to pitch for the Rangers this past postseason. As it turned out, he didn’t miss much. Adams, like fellow free agent reliever Koji Uehara, was acquired at the 2011 MLB Trade Deadline.

The Rangers decision whether or not to re-sign Adams seems easy considering that he was recently diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, or “TOS.”

If you’re like me, your first thought was: “What’s the big deal? Just head on down to the local Thoracic Outlet Mall and grab homeboy another thoracic…”

Evidently it just doesn’t work that way, and TOS is a serious issue that can end careers.

Yikes!

MLB Free Agent Mike Adams: Should Rangers Re Sign the Righty?

Need a new thoracic, friend? Last season’s thoracics have got to go!

So, why waste your office downtime reading about any attempts to re-sign a dude who may never recover from his current injury? I mean after all, you could be watching Kate Upton’s Cat Daddy in slow-mo for the hundredth time, right?

Author’s note: no link provided for the aforementioned Upton dance. Trust me, you follow that link and there is no chance you’ll finish this article, and, well, I couldn’t blame you.

Look, it’s easy to forget, but Adams was one of the best relievers in MLB over a two-year period, and TOS is extremely treatable. Plus, this condition might mean the Rangers could re-sign him on the cheap.

The Sinton, Texas, native earned $4.4M last season, but he could be inked for significantly less should the Rangers make an offer. However, if the Rangers decide to let Adams and his bad wing fly free, all is not lost. Texas does have a bevy of in-house options that could make for a 2013 bullpen enhancement, minus the dinero advancement.

Replacement Options: Tanner Scheppers, Justin Grimm, Wilmer Font

Tanner Scheppers (1-1, 4.45 ERA, 8.4 K/9), at age 25, is eight years younger than Adams, and flashed a good deal of potential during his first taste of the bigs in 2012. All told, the 6’4” former first rounder (2009, 44th overall) showed a plus-fastball that touches triple digits and a decent feel for an off-speed pitch.

Justin Grimm (1-1, 9.00 ERA, 8.4 K/9) burst onto the seen during the Rangers’ June Swoon of pitching problems—when seemingly every pitcher was headed to the dreaded disabled list.

Grimm, a fifth round pick of the Rangers’ in 2010, won his major league debut—albeit against the Houston Astros—and compiled an excellent strikeout to walk ratio of 4.33 over his 14 big league innings of work. Just 24 years old, Grimm’s future is all but, and he has an outside chance of cracking the Rangers’ bullpen (or possibly rotation) in spring training.

Wilmer Font has been in the Rangers’ organization since 2006. So he should be like 34 years old, right? Wrong. Font was signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela at the tender young age of 16.

MLB Free Agent Mike Adams: Should Rangers Re Sign the Righty?

Jamie Moyer was 47 when Font was born, and Brian Wilson is looking pretty old these days.

Font had had to grow up fast. Only 22, he’s already had Tommy John surgery and made his big league debut with Texas. Granted, his command was bad—he walked four in his two total innings of work—but his solid stuff was evident. With further refinement, Font could be a key piece in the Rangers’ bullpen for many years to come.

Should the Texas Rangers Make Adams An Offer?

We here at Baseball Do would love to hear what you think about the Texas Rangers’ chances of re-signing this year’s crop of free agents. So, should the Rangers make Mike Adams an offer, or are they just fine moving forward thanks to a deep farm system? Let us know what you think in our comments section below.

Yep, that’s it! Now back to “reading” about Kate Upton…

Follow Timothy @TMurrayHowell

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Oct 182012
 
James Shields 2

With the emergence of Jurickson Profar, the Rangers may be in a position to improve the line-up or pitching staff via trade of Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler or Nelson Cruz (would require Kins to move to RF).  Expect rumors to run rampant this off-season and potentially into next season, primarily related to Andrus and Kinsler.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes:

“Rays pitcher James Shields has a $9MM option for this year and will likely be unaffordable for the club after that.  It seems likely that Tampa Bay will finally bite the bullet and trade pitching to get the offense that they need.  One National League GM suggested that the Rangers would be a good partner as they could offer Elvis Andrusand someone else for Shields.  Some baseball officials also haven’t ruled out the Rays moving David Price to fill a couple of positions.”

Would you deal Elvis for Shields?  Would you up the ante if we’re talking about Price?

A few things to note:

  • Thursday Sound Off   Elvis for Shields?Elvis, 24, is currently under contract through 2014, making $4.8M in 2013 and $6.5M in 2014.
  • Shields, age 30, is under contract through 2014- both 2013 and 2014 are team options at $9M and $12M respectively.
  • Price, age 27, will be arbitration eligible, but isn’t eligible for free agency until 2016.  Won’t be cheap, but could be under control and would more than likely prefer to just work out a long-term deal rather than deal with arbitration over the next 3 off-seasons.
  • Ken Rosenthal (FOX Sports) believes it that to fetch Price, the Rangers would have to include Cody Buckel and Martin Perez.

A quick look at the numbers:

Elvis Andrus

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 20 TEX 145 480 72 128 17 8 6 40 33 6 40 77 .267 .329 .373 .702
2010 21 TEX 148 588 88 156 15 3 0 35 32 15 64 96 .265 .342 .301 .643
2011 22 TEX 150 587 96 164 27 3 5 60 37 12 56 74 .279 .347 .361 .708
2012 23 TEX 158 629 85 180 31 9 3 62 21 10 57 96 .286 .349 .378 .727
4 Yrs 601 2284 341 628 90 23 14 197 123 43 217 343 .275 .342 .353 .695
162 Game Avg. 162 616 92 169 24 6 4 53 33 12 58 92 .275 .342 .353 .695
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/18/2012.

James Shields

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP ER HR SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2002 Did not play in major leagues (Injured)
2006 24 TBD 6 8 4.84 21 1 0 124.2 67 18 104 1.436 2.7 7.5 2.74
2007 25 TBD 12 8 3.85 31 1 0 215.0 92 28 184 1.107 1.5 7.7 5.11
2008 26 TBR 14 8 3.56 33 3 2 215.0 85 24 160 1.153 1.7 6.7 4.00
2009 27 TBR 11 12 4.14 33 0 0 219.2 101 29 167 1.325 2.1 6.8 3.21
2010 28 TBR 13 15 5.18 33 0 0 203.1 117 34 187 1.461 2.3 8.3 3.67
2011 29 TBR 16 12 2.82 33 11 4 249.1 78 26 225 1.043 2.3 8.1 3.46
2012 30 TBR 15 10 3.52 33 3 2 227.2 89 25 223 1.168 2.3 8.8 3.84
7 Yrs 87 73 3.89 217 19 8 1454.2 629 184 1250 1.223 2.1 7.7 3.68
162 Game Avg. 14 11 3.89 34 3 1 227 98 29 195 1.223 2.1 7.7 3.68
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/18/2012.

David Price

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP ER HR SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2008 22 TBR 0 0 1.93 1 0 0 14.0 3 1 12 0.929 2.6 7.7 3.00
2009 23 TBR 10 7 4.42 23 0 0 128.1 63 17 102 1.348 3.8 7.2 1.89
2010 24 TBR 19 6 2.72 31 2 1 208.2 63 15 188 1.193 3.4 8.1 2.38
2011 25 TBR 12 13 3.49 34 0 0 224.1 87 22 218 1.137 2.5 8.7 3.46
2012 26 TBR 20 5 2.56 31 2 1 211.0 60 16 205 1.100 2.5 8.7 3.47
5 Yrs 61 31 3.16 120 4 2 786.1 276 71 725 1.173 3.0 8.3 2.80
162 Game Avg. 17 9 3.16 33 1 1 218 77 20 201 1.173 3.0 8.3 2.80
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/18/2012.

 So, what do you think?  Would you swap Elvis for Shields and hand over full-time SS responsibilities to Profar?  Would you up the ante (Buckel & Perez) along with Elvis if you could get David Price in return?

Vote on the poll and sound off in the comments section!

Elvis is being mentioned as a potential trade chip to Tampa for pitching. What would you do?
Not interested in dealing Elvis
Deal Elvis for Shields
Deal Elvis+ (Buckel & Perez) for Price
View Result
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Oct 132012
 
Yu & Feliz

Podcast Episode 20: Neither here nor there...It’s that awkward time between the regular season’s disappointing end and the off-season rumors heating up.  Hope you dig it, because this is Baseball Do in it’s truest form – baseball, Rangers, random topics and inappropriate stuff…

Check it out and leave us a comment below to let us know what you think.

Coming up next week:

  • Jasen’s horrifying hypothetical
  • Halloween talk
  • Bucket list – Sporting events
  • Jasen’s home life
  • If we have time…Rangers 2013 outfield
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Oct 122012
 
Josh Hamilton 14

The 2012 Texas Rangers season came to an abrupt, and disappointing end on Friday night as the club lost the first annual one game Wild Card playoff at home to the Baltimore Orioles 5-1.

The $100 Million Dollar ManTo say the club struggled down the stretch is quite the understatement as they finished the season 2-8 in their final 10 games, including losing a 5 game division lead over the Oakland A’s with 9 games left to play. After winning the second game of a double header last Sunday night over the Los Angeles Angels, the Rangers lost their final four games of the season by a combined score of 24-10. The team went into an extended cold slump at the absolute worst possible time.

How did this team many picked to win the World Series wet the bed in the home stretch? Well, one can argue it was due to a variety of factors. The club quite simply stopped getting the clutch hits the A’s got seemingly every day towards the end of the regular season. Mainly, the Rangers just looked completely mentally and physically exhausted towards the end of the year.

Playing as much baseball as this team has played the last three years can take their toll on the body. Remember, the Rangers played six postseason series the last two years, three more than any other team in baseball. I expect Texas to recover and continue to compete in the American League West, but nothing is guaranteed in the great game of baseball.

Jon Daniels and the front office are faced with some very important personnel decisions in the next few months, none more important than what to do with the enigmatic superstar Josh Hamilton.

The $100 Million Dollar ManDespite Josh Hamilton’s late season struggles, some team will pay Josh Hamilton an exorbitant amount of money to play baseball for them next season. While many Ranger fans feel signing Josh is foolish after he dropped a can of corn in a crucial situation in a do or die game against the Oakland A’s last week, or the fact Hamilton struck out 162 times this season, or the fact Hamilton hit .233 in the final ten games, Josh did produce monster numbers during his tenure in Texas.

According to MLB baseball writer Jon Heyman, he believes Hamilton will sign a contract in the neighborhood of 5 years for $150 million dollars. If Hamilton signs a contract similar to the one Heyman suggested, Hamilton would earn the highest annual salary in Major League Baseball at $30 million dollars per season.

Reading about what will soon become baseball’s newest $100 million player got me to thinking about the history of the $100 million dollar player in baseball (The list is quite fascinating). Would signing Josh Hamilton to a $100 million dollar plus deal be a wise decision for not only the Rangers, but any other MLB team? I decided to do a little research, and I think the results may be a little surprising.

Keep in mind, I realize Josh has rubbed many the wrong way in this area towards the end of his time here.

The $100 Million Dollar ManThere have been 34 $100 million dollar contracts signed in the history of baseball. Many fans have probably forgotten the first player to ever sign a $100 million dollar contract was former Ranger great Kevin Brown in 1999 when he signed a 7 year $105 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 1999 season.

The Rangers have signed one player to a contract exceeding $100 million, and that was Alex Rodriguez back in December of 2000 for a then astronomical 10 year deal totaling $252 million dollars. While Rodriguez played exceptionally during his time in Texas, the club faltered because A-Rod had little talent around him and was traded to the Yankees shortly after winning the AL MVP in 2003.

The average age of the player to sign these mega deals is 28.3. Out of the 34 players to have signed $100 million dollar contracts, only 11 of them have been over the age of 30 at the time they signed their new lucrative contract. 8 of the 11 were position players, and since Josh Hamilton is a position player who will be 31 this offseason when he signs his new deal, I decided to focus solely on these 8 players and crunch their numbers to determine if signing Josh makes sense fiscally.

Here is the list of position players to have signed a $100 million dollar contract over the age of 30:

Ken Griffey Jr. – 9 year deal worth $116,500,000 with the Cincinnati Reds

The $100 Million Dollar ManJason Giambi – 7 year deal worth $120,000,000 with the New York Yankees

Alfonso Soriano – 8 year deal worth $136,000,000 with the Chicago Cubs

Carlos Lee – 6 year deal worth $100,000,000 with the Houston Astros

Alex Rodriguez – 10 year deal worth $275,000,000 with the New York Yankees

Ryan Howard – 5 year extension worth $125,000,000 with the Philadelphia Phillies

Jayson Werth – 7 year deal worth $126,000,000 with the Washington Nationals

Albert Pujols – 10 year deal worth $240,000,000 with the Los Angeles Angels

The first thing I have done is I have averaged each of these eight players final season before they were given their huge pay days, and have compared them to Josh Hamilton’s 2012. By doing this study, we can determine if Josh will receive a similar payday, and it should help predict what type of production we can expect from Josh in the future based on his age. If you want to check out each player’s season for yourself, I am sure you are cognizant of the sites to help you do that. I am just simply providing the averages.

8 players final season before mega deal:

157 games played, 114 runs scored, 176 hits, 80 XBH, 42 HR, 118 RBI, .299/.388/.579/.966, 5.5 rWAR

As one can tell, these players produced huge seasons as these numbers are just the averages between the 8 players. In 2007, A-Rod led the league in 5 major offensive categories and won AL MVP. Jason Giambi led the AL in 3 offensive categories, including an incredible 1.137 OPS in 2001. Ryan Howard knocked in 141 runs in 2009 before signing his extension the following April. Now, let’s look at what Hamilton did this year and compare the numbers to the 8 players.

Josh Hamilton’s 2012 season:

148 games played, 103 runs scored, 160 hits, 76 XBH, 43 HR, 128 RBI, .285/.354/.577/.930, 3.4 rWAR

As one again can easily determine, Josh’s 2012 numbers are very similar to the other final seasons. What does this mean? Well, if Josh’s numbers are similar to the average final seasons of the 8 $100 million dollar players over the age of 30, one is led to believe Josh will produce similar numbers beginning in the first year of his new deal and beyond. Just to be sure, I thought I would perform another test. Since Albert Pujols was the most recent player to sign a $100 million dollar deal, I decided to average the first years of the 7 other $100 million dollar player’s contracts, and compare them to Pujols to find out if the numbers also look similar.

7 players other than Pujols 1st year of new contract:

146 games played, 96 runs scored, 159 hits, 67 XBH, 33 HR, 100 RBI, .285/.370/.530/.900, 3.8 rWAR.

The most eye opening thing one will notice is the decline in all major offensive categories. Jayson Werth’s 2011 season with Washington skewed these numbers slightly, but Giambi and Griffey pushed them up as they were the only players to hit more than 40 HR. Carlos Lee was the only player to appear in all 162 games for his team in the first year of his $100 million dollar contract., which is also the only 162 game season of any player who has ever signed a $100 million dollar contract over the age of 30. And, with Josh Hamilton’s well known inability to stay healthy, he will more than likely play less games than many of these other players who did not have health issues before signing their enormous contracts. Now, let’s compare the numbers to Pujols 1st year.

Pujols 2012 season:

154 games played, 85 runs scored, 173 hits, 80 XBH, 30 HR, 105 RBI, .285/.343/.516/.859, 4.6 rWAR

Again, the numbers are very similar. Based on the similar numbers, I believe we have enough statistical evidence to more or less provide ball park figures of what one can expect from Josh next season, and beyond, wherever he, his wife, and God decide is the best place to play baseball for the next five years.

I will now provide what type of production a team can expect out of Josh Hamilton if they were to sign him to a 5 year $150 million dollar contract which Jon Heyman believes he will sign. Again, all I did was average the 7 player’s years, not including Pujols,  by very simply adding up the total amount, and dividing the total by the number of players. Werth drops off in Year 3 from the equation, and Howard drops off in Year 4 because each has not played in that particular year of his contract yet. Year 1 was already provided.

Year 2:

119 games played, 70 runs scored, 121 hits, 51 XBH, 27 HR, 84 RBI, .281/.376/.517/.893, 2.3 rWAR

The numbers are continuing to decline as the players are beginning to experience injury problems because they are aging. Only 4 of the 7 players played more than 125 games in his second season of his deal. The rWAR has dropped 3 wins in two years.

Year 3:

105 games played, 46 runs scored, 100 hits, 38 XBH, 18 HR, 67 RBI, .252/.332/.443/.774, .3 rWAR

The third year is the worst statistical year as three of the players (Griffey, Soriano, and Giambi) all finish with negative rWARs. Lee played 160 games, but the next most in games played is Rodriguez with 137. Batting average, OBP, Slugging, and OPS has fallen for the third straight year.

Year 4:

119 games played, 62 runs scored, 107 hits, 46 XBH, 22 HR, 69 RBI, .260/.357/.495/.852, 1.5 rWAR

The numbers improve slightly, but not by very much. Lee actually had a rWAR of -2.4 in his 4th year of his deal. Michael Young was everyone’s favorite whipping boy this year, and even he had 38 XBH’s in his horrendous 2012.

Year 5:

126 games played, 65 runs scored, 117 hits, 50 XBH, 24 HR, 82 RBI, .259/.350/.484/.833, 1.7 rWAR

Giambi had the most productive 5th year as he had an OPS of .971. However, no player had a rWAR above 3.7.

5 Season average:

123 games played, 68 runs scored, 121 hits, 50 XBH, 25 HR, 80 RBI, .267/.357/.494/.850, 1.9 rWAR

Yes, this would be the average season one team is paying $30 million dollars a year if they choose to pony up the money and sign Josh. While these numbers are not exact, they give a good prediction of what is probable.

The most shocking number is a total of 9.6 total rWAR in 5 seasons. Meaning, if a team paid Josh Hamilton $150 million dollars over 5 seasons, the team would be paying $15,625,000 per win. Fans admire Josh for his incredible power, but only Jason Giambi averaged 30 home runs per season through the life of his contract. Chances are greater than zero that Josh would not hit as many home runs as he did in Texas.

Also, with Josh already being well known for his injury problems, including his caffeine issue in late September, signing Josh to a massive contract might not be wise based on the injury problems of the previous 30+ year old $100 million dollar players.

The $100 Million Dollar ManThe numbers I have provided are only numbers, but they do speak of what Hamilton will more than likely become later in his career because the numbers I have provided are what the players averaged during their expensive contracts. Essentially, the deal will be for one highly productive first season, two mediocre seasons, and two very disappointing seasons. Signing players to a long term deal for one to three decent seasons is just not wise, just ask the Los Angeles Angels.

I am sure Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan, and the front office has done their due diligence in relations to the Josh Hamilton matter. However, based on past history, signing Josh Hamilton to a $100 million dollar deal would be a colossal mistake.

The safer and more intelligent move is to pursue a player like B.J. Upton who just turned 28, and is believed by Jon Heyman to be signed to a deal in the ballpark of 5 years and $60 million dollars. Upton is three years younger than Hamilton, strikes out a lot and has a lower OPS, but will cost $18 million dollars a year less that Hamilton will. Players such as Nick Swisher and AJ Pierzynski will also be available to fill the LH power bat void. Swisher can also hit from the right side of the plate as well. The Rangers could even use the extra money on a top of the rotation pitcher like Zack Greinke, or a solid #2 or #3 starter like Hiroki Kuroda.

While we do not know what will become of Josh Hamilton and the Rangers, one thing is certain, and that is the Hot Stove League is one of the most entertaining times of the year. The 2012 season might have ended in disappointing fashion for the Rangers, but things can turn around quickly with a great offseason. Fans should have complete faith in the organization based on their excellent track record that they will make the best decision for Texas Rangers in regards to Josh, and other players.

Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18

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Oct 112012
 
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

Jason Churchill of ESPN.com noted this morning that the Rangers could be in the market for an everyday centerfielder, regardless of Josh Hamilton’s return or departure.

The Texas Rangers, whether or not they re-sign Josh Hamilton this offseason, may be in the market for an everyday centerfielder. The Boston Red Sox may be at the point where trading Jacoby Ellsbury, a free agent after the 2013 season, makes more sense than not.

Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald suggests the two clubs could match up in a trade, and wonders if the Rangers could be open to parting with left-hander Derek Holland for Ellsbury.

A few things to note:

  • Thursday Sound Off: Dutch for Ellsbury?The 29 year-old Ellsbury is under contract only through the end of 2013, after which he will become a free agent.  He was paid around $8M in 2012 and is arbitration eligible for 2013.
  • Holland (26) is under control through 2018, with ’17 and ’18 both being club options, with pay escalating to $10M plus in 2016 and beyond.
  • Craig Gentry…

So, what do you think?  Would you like to see Dutch pack his bags for a move to Boston in return for one year of Ellsbury in center?

Vote on the poll and sound off in the comments section!

 

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Got other thoughts on what the Rangers should do this off-season?  Check out “Time for Changes in Arlington” and let us hear from you.

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Oct 092012
 
Will Napoli be back in Texas in 2013?

Mike Napoli: Should The Texas Rangers Re Sign The Slugging Catcher?The Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton is the biggest name in this winter’s MLB Free Agent sweepstakes. So big a name is Hamilton, that another key offensive weapon in Texas is often overlooked. Mike Napoli, despite a precipitous decline from the previous season’s offensive production, provided 24 home runs and has been the team’s most productive catcher since Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

And like Hamilton, Napoli could seek a new suitor this winter. Should Napoli follow Hamilton, the Rangers could find themselves scrambling to replace a combined 67 HRs and 184 RBI from last season.

It’s funny to think that the Rangers wouldn’t re-sign Mike Napoli. After all, 2011—Napoli’s first season in Texas—might be best remembered as “The Year of the Napoli.”

For the better part of 2011, Napoli crushed every offering headed his way. His second-half frenzy and subsequent postseason romp—coupled with Nelson Cruz’s October power surge—helped drive the Rangers towards their second-straight American League Pennant. Tampa Bay’s manager, Joe Maddon—whose team was the first victim of Napoli and company—coined 2011 as “The Year of the Napoli,” a catchphrase that reverberated throughout the postseason as Rangers fans fervently chanted his name: “Nap-O-Li!! Nap-O-Li!!!” Few were the times that Napoli didn’t capitalize on his fan’s chants or the opposition’s pitches. However, as 2012 would attest, it was a good thing the Rangers were patient in signing him to a long-term deal.

The Rangers’ Patience Paid Off

By signing Napoli to a one-year $9.4M deal last February, the Rangers avoided arbitration and skirted a long-term commitment. Granted, there were those—present company included—that clamored to extend Napoli on a multi-year deal. 2011’s magical run proved a strong spell. As it turned out, not committing to Napoli long-term was a shrewd move. Since the Rangers decided to wait it out, they now have tangible proof that 2011 was more hot streak than a sustainable run of promised potential. Granted, since Napoli is one of  the premier power-hitting catchers in baseball, his average annual salary should exceed last year’s one-year deal. A three-year, $36M contract would probably land “Nap-O-Li!!!” back in Arlington for the remaining years of his prime.

Despite last season’s statistical letdown, Mike Napoli—who has averaged 27 HRs per season while in Texas—has been the Rangers’ best offensive catcher since the iconic Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

Down on the Farm: Help at Catcher?

Mike Napoli: Should The Texas Rangers Re Sign The Slugging Catcher?

If there is a glaring weakness in the Texas Rangers’ farm system—a system  ranked as one of MLB’s finest—then it is a lack of depth at the catching position. Former 2010 first round pick, Kellin Deglan is an intriguing prospect. Deglan flashed some power with Hickory of the South Atlantic League (SAL) in 2012, as he hit 12 home runs. Deglan, a career .225 hitter in the bush leagues, is athletic, but raw. Fangraph’s Mike Newman ranks fellow SAL luminary Jorge Alfaro slightly ahead of Deglan, with a high-ceiling and nearly non-existent floor. Like Deglan, the 19-year-old Alfaro is at least three years away from the big leagues.

Geovany Soto and Other FA Catchers (Been there, done that)

Geovany Soto is one option to replace Mike Napoli. Soto was acquired in the trade that netted the Rangers his former Chicago Cubs battery mate, Ryan Dempster, to boot. While with Texas, Soto, the 2008 NL ROY, flashed moments of greatness but was largely a letdown. Ironically enough, most of the free agent catchers available are former Rangers. Gerald Laird, Rod Barajas, Matt Treanor, and Yorvit Torrealba have all played in Arlington with varying degrees of success and failure. Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz, and Atlanta’s Brian McCann, are technically free agents, but both have 2013 club options that their teams are likely to exercise.

So, What do you think? Should the Texas Rangers re-sign Mike Napoli? I’d love to hear your feedback, just respond with your thoughts in our comments section below.

Mike Napoli: Should The Texas Rangers Re Sign The Slugging Catcher?

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Oct 082012
 
Josh Hamilton is an awesome baseball player, when he wants to be.

Replacing Josh Hamilton: Do The Texas Rangers Have In House Options?Today is the first Monday of the Texas Rangers off-season. Once the 2012 postseason has come to an end, Josh Hamilton will likely saunter off from Arlington and make a beeline towards financially greener pastures. With him, Hamilton will take his immeasurable baseball talents, as well as his various psychological, ocular, and assorted addiction issues.

But not to worry, Josh Hamilton has said that he’ll give the Rangers first crack at re-signing him…Well aw-shucks, and gosh golly all-to-pieces, that sure is mighty kind of you, Josh.

All personal cynicism aside, what this really means is that the Texas Rangers have first shot to politely decline the offer he and his agent deem necessary. If you are a Texas Rangers fan—not solely a Josh Hamilton fan—then you understand that not giving him the contract he wants is best for the team. Hami wants a lengthy deal. When discussing a long-term contract—in this case, longer than four years—you have to consider: age, injury-issues, and, with Hamilton, a history of alcohol abuse, caffeine dependency, severe dry eye, and, oh yeah, an apparent lack of focus during the most important game of 2012.

Unless Hambone decides to sign a four-year (better yet, three-year) deal, then the Rangers are no longer a viable option. Besides, Hamilton and his wife, Katie, have far too many impoverished people to help for the measly makings of such a short-term deal.

In-House Options: Craig Gentry, Leonys Martin?

Replacing 43 home runs and 128 RBI is even more difficult than it sounds. Neither Craig Gentry nor Leonys Martin is ever going to be a three-hole hitter. However, Gentry supplies plus-defensive and explosive speed, whereas Martin has an upside high enough that the Rangers were willing to dish out the dough to harangue the Cuban into coming to Texas in May of 2011.

Replacing Josh Hamilton: Do The Texas Rangers Have In House Options?

More Craig Gentry. It’s what the people want.

The Problem: Defensively, Gentry and Martin are HUGE improvements over Hamilton. Offensively, not so much. Despite Gentry’s breakout 2012 campaign, he is best suited as a fourth outfielder; speed off the bench if you will. Martin, who will be just 25-years-old at the start of 2013, needs to prove that he can hit at the big league level, and thusly might be a click behind Gentry on the depth chart.

How To Fill the Offensive Void—Rookies to the Rescue?

Prized prospects Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar now have a few major league at-bats under their belts, and could plug the Hami-hole in 2013, should they ascend to their sky-high ceilings offensively.

The problem: The Rangers’ best player, Adrian Beltre, blocks Olt, a natural third baseman. Jurickson Profar has Elvis Andrus well ahead of him at shortstop, and the recently re-upped Ian Kinsler at second. Although Olt has seen some big league time in right, Profar’s skill set is more suitable for the outfield, should the Rangers decide to re-position the two.

The Free Agent Market

Naturally, the Texas Rangers will be looking at other available free agent talent. B.J. Upton and Nick Swisher come to mind. Although Swisher is better suited for right field, both he and Upton would provide an immediate offensive upgrade over Gentry and Martin. An Upton or Swisher signing would also provide the Rangers time to let Profar and Olt get consistent playing time in Triple-A for the 2013 season.

@TMurrayHowell

Replacing Josh Hamilton: Do The Texas Rangers Have In House Options?

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