The most recent free agency rumors make Josh Hamilton seem like a more reasonable investment than we expected.
Ken Rosenthal Tweets:
Sources: #Mariners have discussed three-year deals with Hamilton in range of $20M to $25M per season.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2012
There is a lot of talk about the Seattle Mariners being serious on Josh Hamilton. As JP wrote about earlier, the Mariners are reportedly "close" on this. If three years and $60-75 million is a serious discussion, or enough to be close, we are way wrong on the Josh Hamilton market.
This goes beyond seeing one of the Rangers' best going to a division rival. Those of us who have said letting Hamilton walk is smart for the Rangers were not thinking in terms this short or this "cheap." That is not a steal on Hamilton, necessarily, as he is not a great candidate to age well -- even just three years from now -- and it's already roughly his value in free agency in any year but when he busts out his MVP face.
But it's also fair year-to-year. It's also not a long term commitment. If a deal this short, at just over $20 million a year -- just a touch north of the going rate for an All-Star caliber player -- is what sends probably the greatest center fielder in franchise history, and probably the teams' best hitter, packing, that will be tough to swallow.
Or Hamilton's presence was even more damaging to the clubhouse with his on-and-off play and behavioral issues than Mike Adams's quotes suggested. Or the Rangers expect him to fall off a cliff even steeper than expected. Or this is a serious low ball offer by the Mainers that will be, as expected, comfortably exceeded. Or it's possible the Rangers think they can get Zack Greinke, but not if they retain Hamilton; Greinke seems a lot more desirable. In ascending order, those all seem more likely than Seattle getting him for 3/60 and Texas letting it happen.