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Three reasons the Phillies won’t sign Josh Hamilton

Nov 13, 2012, 10:35 AM EDT

Josh Hamilton AP

That’s awfully listy sounding, isn’t it? Don’t worry: I’m not going all Bleacher Report or Buzzfeed on you. This really does link to a story that provides three reasons why the Phillies won’t sign Josh Hamilton.

It’s from Jim Salisbury of, who knows the Phillies as well as anyone. He says Josh Hamilton is not going to sign there for the following three reasons, which he ranks from smallest reason to biggest:

  • “Hamilton hits left-handed and the Phillies would like to add a right-handed bat to complement the tandem of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.”
  • “Hamilton will likely seek a long-term payday in excess of $100 million … It’s doubtful they want to write a check that big.”
  • “The Phillies have shown a willingness to spend big money — for the right player, and the right player is often one with impeccable intangibles. Hamilton just doesn’t seem to be the right player.”

I sort of discount reasons one and two in and of themselves. Sure, you don’t want to be too left handed, but if you need a bat you sign he best hitter, right? All things being equal you go with a righty, but if things aren’t equal and the lefty is better, you deal with it.

“Over $100 million” seems kinda broad. Might a team not reasonably sign him to a five-year, $20 million a year deal but balk at seven years? I get what Sailsbury means about the Phillies already having big payroll, but I think we’re going too far to say that there isn’t some reasonable but still large Josh Hamilton contract to be signed by someone. He has risks, but he’s not chopped liver.

The intangibles? Well, that is what it is. The Phillies have tended to go for good character guys, but they’re not fanatical about it. I could see him scaring them off.

This is not to pick nits. I think, in its entirety, Salisbury paints a pretty convincing picture of a bad match between the Phillies and Hamilton. But I don’t think it’s an overwhelmingly silly idea. Just unlikely.

  1. danaking - Nov 13, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    As Craig said, none of the three might be a deal-killer. All three together? The match gets worse all the time.

    Of course, Ruben Amaro has his mysterious ways.

  2. ame123 - Nov 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Phillies need a true CF, espcially if they are serious about giving Ruf playing time in left. Hamilton is really a corner outfielder now.

    • bleedgreen - Nov 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      Dare I say it, Dom Brown is quick enough to play center field if he could get his coordination under him. Hamilton in RF, Ruf in LF and Brown in Center?

      • paperlions - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Holy cow, that would be the worst outfield defense in living memory.

      • stex52 - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        I would probably have to nominate any Astros outfield of the last five years that had Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence, and anyone other than Michael Bourn in CF.

  3. philswfc08 - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    I don’t think writing a big check is a big deal anymore…their local TV deal is about to be renegotiated and they will have significantly more to spend as it is going to be based on the most popular years the Phils have ever had. i’d love to see them take the risk…might as well, they are already tied down with aging stars…push all in!

  4. illadelphiasphinest - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Salisbery is a Dingelberry. Guy doesnt know his head from a hole it the wall. Look i agree with the lefty heavy lineup, but if you look a bit further down the road to 2014 the phillies should not re-sign Utley a 35yo with two bad knee to a big long term deal there for leaving a HUGE hole at the 3 spot in the order. Who fills it??? Certainly not anyone currently on the roster. So it makes scense to sign Hamilton abd bat him 3rd this season and bumping Chase up to 2nd. Chase his LHP decent, and so does Hamilton. The only issue is Howard who cant touch LHP even it you gave him a redwood tree to swing. Maybe the addition of Hamilton could help Howard out with his approach and swing. Who knows?? His second point about the money. Come on really…. The Phillies are printing money down on Broad and Pattison they have it. And if they want to continue to make it they will spend it. Another lack luster offseason, and dissapointing season will drive fans away. His third point. What is not to love about a guy who can hit 40HR, 120+RBI, and actually hit .300? He is what Ryan Howard was supposed to be!!!! In a perfect world Id like to see Howard moved down and out of the cleanup spot and fill it with a Cody Ross type player. At least Ross can hit over .250 while still giving you 20+HR, n decent RBI potential. Im sure prople are gonna kill me but does this lineup not look better then say if the added an Angel Pagan(a lot of people perfer him to BJ Upton) to bat 2nd n stuck with Brown, Ruf, Mayberry, Schierholtz. I dont like the idea of LF n RF both being platooned at all again this season!! Heres my lineup for 2013.

  5. hisgirlgotburrelled - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    I still don’t get this. Why can’t they just come out and say “we think Josh Hamilton could relapse into a drug addiction”? I mean, what else are you saying when you say “he’s a risk because he was once a drug addict”? I don’t know him personally, but my guess is that in the next 5 years he won’t become addicted to drugs again and end his career. That’s just a guess. So, impeccable intangibles just went from “biggest reason” to “yeah I know about it.” My “biggest reason” in the not-signing-him side is that he plays hard and seems to hurt himself because of the way he plays, and the Phillies cannot afford another high-salary injured player in 2013.

    I would like to cancel out the first reason of him being a lefty. Of the 3, Utley, Howard, and Hamilton, Hamilton has been better over the last 3 years. Not adding a lefty who would be the best lefty in the lineup because you have Utley and Howard is kind of stupid.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      I don’t know him personally, but my guess is that in the next 5 years he won’t become addicted to drugs again and end his career.

      Because the problem with Hamilton isn’t just being a rehabilitated drug user, he also has an issue with alcohol. Ask anyone who has dealt/is dealing with those issues, and they never go away. He’s already had one highly publicized relapse (I’m thinking two, but can’t remember). What if he relapses again, and decides to check into a detox facility?

      Never mind that he has issues staying healthy as well and is on the wrong side of 30.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        And, also, chew and caffeine…plus, he’s drama and that’s not just about his addictions.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        He’s been playing pretty well over the last 3 years in spite of those problems. Everyone is just broadly saying “he’s a risk because he was an addict.” But he’s not now. And anyone saying he’s a risk to relapse for the next 5 years is just as much as a guess as me saying he won’t.

        No don’t never mind issues staying healthy because I specifically mentioned it as being the biggest reason.

  6. xmatt0926x - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    I have zero faith that they could sign Hamilton and I don’t care either way, but the point that makes least sense to me is saying no because he’s a lefty. If Hamilton batting left against lefties is still better than any right handed option then who cares? I believe Hamilton has a pretty decent OPS against lefties.

  7. Jonny 5 - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Did he actually forget Hamilton is a drug addict actively declining in performance and sure to decline every year he plays from here on out? Because those are better reasons to avoid signing Hamilton IMO. Just say no Rube.

  8. muckthefets - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    I’d definitely prefer either of the Upton brothers to fill an OF spot over Hamilton. Specifically for the defense they would bring to the table, and they’re both not slouches at the plate although they don’t put up the power #’s that Hamilton does.

  9. mungman69 - Nov 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Please don’t sign Hamilton

  10. 13arod - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    they can sign b.j upton

    • phillyreese215 - Nov 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      bj upton is even worst. please RAJ just sign bourn youklis and ross to one year deals. and spend the rest of the money on the bullpen. thank you, diehard phillies fan.

      • mazblast - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        Sure, Bourn is going to have to settle for a one-year deal. Right. Yeah. Uh huh.

  11. fljerry2 - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    2010 Utley Howard and Ibanez was 3,4,5
    3 lefties. I’m sure contract will spell out any drug or alcohol problem and contract will be null. I myself would love Hamilton on my team.

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      You’re forgetting a right-handed caveman roaming right field.

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