Josh Hamilton: Signing with Phillies Makes Most Sense for Slugger

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 5:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers looks at a camera crews microphone during batting practice before the American League Wild Card game against the /TEAM on October 5, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Josh Hamilton may want to return to the familiar confines provided by the Texas Rangers, but the Rangers may not offer him the contract he wants. The Seattle Mariners will probably be willing to offer him the contract he wants, but he won't be joining a winning team.

Suddenly, the Philadelphia Phillies seem like the most logical place for Hamilton to sign. 

Let's get one thing straight—if the Rangers match the biggest offer he gets on the market, he'll return to Texas. And with Zack Greinke off the market and a Justin Upton trade seeming less likely by the day, the Rangers may have no choice but to throw a ton of cash at Hamilton.

But let's say they aren't willing to do that—something that seems possible given Hamilton remains unsigned. If money and years weren't a major consideration for the Rangers, Hamilton would already be re-signed. 

And its possible the Mariners or some other team will start throwing cash around or be willing to offer more years, driving the Rangers past their comfort zone in the negotiations. They'll have a breaking point when it comes to offering Hamilton a contract, no doubt about that.

But one team that always seems to emerge from left field and make a big offer is the Phillies, a team that saved a lot of cash by trading Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino last season and desperately needs a big bat in the middle of the lineup. 

On Tuesday night, it was rumored the Phillies had entered the fray to sign Hamilton. Frankly, if true, it makes a lot of sense.

Hamilton may be risky, but the Phillies only have a few years left with the current core of aging players to be World Series contenders. If this team is serious about winning a World Series in the next two years, Hamilton is the biggest splash they can make.

Because of that, the Phillies may be willing to offer the superstar a huge contract.

If you were Hamilton and you were looking at two huge contracts from the Phillies and Mariners and a lesser contract with Texas, which route would you go?

The Phillies have quality people throughout the organization, a roster that would be capable of returning to the playoffs, a fanbase that would absolutely adore Hamilton and would be offering a big contract to land him.

How is that not appealing?

I understand why Hamilton would want to return to the Rangers. But when you look at how his market will shape up, more and more I believe the Phillies will represent the best option in terms of money and a chance to succeed.

Don't be surprised if he's raising a Phillies jersey at a press conference before the new year.


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