Jonah Keri has an article today up at Grantland about some of the early season contract extensions we've seen in baseball, including talking about the Ian Kinsler contract and the potential Josh Hamilton negotiations. Since everything Keri ever writes is gold, you should read it.
For one, this needs to be quoted, because more people need to realize this:
But make no mistake: Ian Kinsler is a superstar player. Over the past four seasons, only 10 position players have delivered more value to their teams than Kinsler; the list of players below him includes Mark Teixeira, Troy Tulowitzki, and Kinsler's more decorated teammate, Josh Hamilton.
Hopefully you do, Rangers fan, but make sure your neighbor does, too.
He seems to be down with the Kinsler extension, even after cautioning health and age. On Josh Hamilton, however:
The Rangers have progressed to the point that they're now perennial contenders, and you won't see, say, the Yankees let a player of Hamilton's talents walk at this point in his career. But despite the Rangers' greatly improved financial standing, they're still not quite the Yankees, and Hamilton's downside could be a lot worse than losing 10 points off his batting average and a few homers with each passing year. As thin as the market figures to be, I'd consider a Plan B in lieu of a 31-year-old Hamilton given his pending free agency — be it a blockbuster trade or some other approach.
I agree. And I think this off-season might be nasty between myself, the Jonah Keri's of the blogosphere, and the Rangers fans who want their MVP forever.
Hat tip to Prashanth Francis of Baseball Time in Arlington