According to John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus, Josh Hamilton is looking for a contract in the vicinity of seven years in length and worth a total of $175 million. Whether or not he receives it is a different story, but that is probably the starting point for any negotiations.
On average, he would earn $25 million per year if he gets his wish.
Also, if he gets his wish, his average annual salary will be tied for the fourth highest in Major League Baseball history, according to Scott Kendrick of about.com.
Two of the contracts ahead of him belong to Alex Rodriguez, one is the major contract signed by Albert Pujols last winter and Hamilton would be tied with Ryan Howard in terms of average annual value.
If you look at those three names I just mentioned, you have to wonder about the wisdom behind offering a similarly large contract to Hamilton.
The Yankees are beginning to suffer from the effects of Rodriguez's huge contract as he is getting older and his production is dropping. When he was an MVP candidate, the Yankees were not as concerned about his contract, but it is not nearly as attractive now.
Similarly, Ryan Howard has suffered from an ever-decreasing batting average, which has made Philadelphia fans wonder about the wisdom behind that contract as well.
It might be too early to judge the overall impact of Pujols' contract, but the first season was not nearly what the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim probably had in mind when they brought him to town.
All of that being said, Hamilton is a different player, so the problems with their contracts don't necessarily have to impact him. However, he will be aging like Rodriguez, or he might struggle like Howard or Pujols.
For the sake of good intentions, let's assume that Hamilton has an excellent seven seasons. Let's assume that he plays even better than he has with the Texas Rangers.
That is all in the future, and no Major League Baseball team knows that right now. All they know is what I mentioned before. They know that long-term contracts of this magnitude don't tend to work out as well as they were originally intended to. Even though this is what Hamilton wants, it would be surprising to see him receive anywhere near $25 million on average per season.
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