Josh Hamilton: What a New Deal with Texas Rangers Would Look Like

Brandon Tripp@BrandonJayTrippContributor IIIApril 21, 2012

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers hits a three run homer in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox  on April 17, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

With the torrid start to the season for Josh Hamilton comes increased speculation about when and for how much Texas will sign their left-handed slugger.

There is some concern from the Texas Rangers' perspective about injuries and Hamilton having another relapse that will have to be addressed.

With all of that in mind, the contract could get a little complicated.

The most important thing to think about in any contract is years and money.

My guess is that Hamilton is looking for something in the Jayson Werth range, which would be six or seven years and $127 million.

Conversely, the Rangers are nowhere near that number.

Texas would be much more comfortable at four years and maybe $85 million with a club option for a fifth year. This is mostly due to Hamilton’s struggles with alcohol addiction and injuries that keep him out for long stretches.

Josh has not played more than 150 games in a season since his first year with the Rangers in 2008 when he played 151. 

In the end, the contract will probably be five years, with a club option for a sixth, for between $100 and $110 million.

More important than the money and the years for Texas is the ability to have control over multiple outs in the contract should Hamilton have another relapse or have to many injuries.

Texas will look for protection financially should Hamilton relapse.
Texas will look for protection financially should Hamilton relapse.Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

GM Jon Daniels and President Nolan Ryan would look for a clause that voids the contract if Hamilton should have multiple relapses, or a severe relapse.

If they can’t get a void added into the contract another option is to have only partially guaranteed clauses. These will only partially guarantee the contract each year should Hamilton relapse.

To protect Texas from the injuries Hamilton has had problems with they could try and work out a smaller base salary for the slugger and add in multiple performance incentives that would be based on games played and statistics.

In the end, the Rangers seem intent on re-signing Hamilton, and he seems intent on staying with Texas.

But as much as both sides want to get this done, it behooves Texas to let most of the season play out. If the Rangers move now, Hamilton will probably cost a few million dollars more per season. And Jon Daniels is all about saving as much as he can. 

The move is not without risks for the Rangers. If Hamilton can keep this pace up and stay healthy, his contract probably gets a guaranteed sixth year and $120 million without breaking a sweat.