Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Everyone remember Albert Belle? That deal didn't turn out so good did it.
Prior to the 1999 season, the O's signed Albert Belle to a five-year, $65 million deal. Nowadays, with inflation, that deal would translate to around $20 million a year. After two decent seasons with the O's, Belle's hip gave out and he never played again.
However, he was on the 40-man roster for another three years, which didn't help financial matters. This is just one example how a long-term deal can blow up in a team's face.
If the O's sign Josh Hamilton, will he pull an Albert Belle?
Probably not, but Hamilton is somewhat injury-prone. He has missed time each of the last four seasons with some sort of injury. Hamilton is also asking for more money and more years then Belle did. It is a different era, but it's still riskier.
Belle should be an eerie reminder of what can happen when a team signs anyone, even an MVP caliber player, to a long-term deal.