Monday, February 7, 2011
Hamilton, Rangers Working on Two Year Deal
According to T.R. Sullivan of mlb.com, 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton and the Rangers are "making progress towards settling his contract situation so they will not have to go to an arbitration hearing."
Unfortunately, the article didn't include anything really specific, although I'm sure more information is coming. Hamilton is in his second season of arbitration eligibility. When the two sides exchanged arbitration figures last month, Hamilton requested $12M and the Rangers countered with $8.7M. If both parties can't come to an agreement, they'll have to appear in front before arbitrator on February 14th. Arbitration hearings tend to be incredibly uncomfortable affairs, so they'll likely do whatever they can to avoid that fate.
A two year deal would only put Hamilton under the Rangers control through 2012. After that, he'd become a free agent. While no information has been released as to the size of the potential deal, I'd have to guess it will end up being worth around $22-28M. That's purely speculation on my part, but it's an educated guess based on the going rate of similar players. While this deal would a certain level of cost certainty for the Rangers, it also increases the likelihood he leaves as a free agent in a couple of years. If he continues to play at the level he did in 2010 (unlikely considering his BABIP driven OBP), he could price himself out of the Rangers comfort zone.