Teams should avoid giving Josh Hamilton a long-term deal.
The 2013 class of MLB free agents is filled with fantastic players that can contribute to teams immediately, but there are some over-hyped stars who should not receive big deals.
Outfielder Josh Hamilton is one of the best players in Major League Baseball.
Hamilton is a great hitter with incredible power. Last season, Hamilton had 43 home runs, 128 runs batted in and hit for a .285 average. Hamilton also holds his own as an impressive defensive outfielder.
There is no doubt that Hamilton is a great player, but he is also a recovering drug addict with a history of injuries.
Hamilton has put his drug problems behind him, but last season, it was reported that he had a relapse with alcohol.
Even one slip could be the end of Hamilton’s career and for that reason alone, he is a big risk for a long-term deal.
Beyond his history with drug abuse, Hamilton has had a string of injuries, from bruised ribs and strained abdominal muscles to ocular keratitis. At 31 years old, these injuries are incredibly concerning.
Pitcher Dan Haren has long been considered an ace pitcher.
This billing comes mostly from his ability to strike out batters. He has posted 200-plus strikeouts three times in his career.
While Haren consistently posts great strikeout numbers, he does have a hard time limiting his losses.
This was acceptable during his time at Oakland and Arizona, but the fact that he could not limit losses with the Angels' potent offense behind him is concerning.
Haren has had problems with giving up home runs in the past four seasons. Giving up 102 home runs in four seasons is unacceptable and should be a red flag for teams lining up to make Haren their ace in the coming season.
Rangers’ catcher Mike Napoli is a great hitter. We know that much for sure. However, his hitting prowess is centered around his ability to hit the long ball.
Hitting 24 home runs from the catcher position is very impressive, yes.
What is not impressive is that he only hit .227 last season. His career average of .259 is nothing to write home about either.
Teams should avoid signing Napoli long term if they believe that he can be a day-to-day workhorse in the offense. He is a middle-of-the-order hitter at best, and at 31, teams should not expect much more development on that front.