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Josh Hamilton leaves Texas without giving Rangers chance to match Angels’ offer

Dec 13, 2012, 2:41 PM EDT

Josh Hamilton AP AP

Josh Hamilton is leaving the Rangers to sign a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels and it’s interesting to hear how Texas got the news.

First of all, Hamilton’s agent called Rangers general manager Jon Daniels during this afternoon’s media luncheon to tell him the former MVP was going to their AL West rivals.

According to Daniels the Rangers were not given an opportunity to match the offer and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram characterizes the GM as “not pleased with how negotiations ended.”

On the other hand it apparently doesn’t come as a total shock to Daniels, who admitted that Hamilton hinted last week he perhaps wanted a new start somewhere else.

And of course it’s not even clear if the Rangers were interested in topping the Angels’ offer, which is pretty damn huge for a soon-to-be 32-year-old with plenty of question marks attached on and off the field.

Hamilton’s departure obviously leaves a big hole in the Rangers’ lineup, which was already righty dominant with Hamilton. It’ll be interesting to see if they make a run at switch-hitting Nick Swisher, who seems like the most natural fit to replace Hamilton among the unsigned free agents.

136 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. losangelesfan - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Panic time in Dallas.

    • beefytrout - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Not for people who have common sense.

      • losangelesfan - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        I’m just quoting what they’re saying on 103.3 FM in Dallas. Maybe you should listen.

      • beefytrout - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        No, I’ll go ahead and form my own opinions. 25m/yr for 5 years? Any sensible Rangers fan should be jumping for joy the front office didn’t sink that into Hamilton.

      • losangelesfan - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        That’s what losing teams do.

      • paperlions - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Yep, this will probably play out like a mini-version of the Pujols situation last year. For the Rangers (and their fans), it may sting a bit right now, and more so because he went to a division rival, but by next year they’ll probably be glad they aren’t looking at 4 more years with his drama and salary being in the way of winning.

      • danh35 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        Texas will be fine. Just look to last year when Pujols left the Cards. The Cards were playing in the postseason while Albert was at home counting his money. This isn’t the NBA where one player leaving can sink a franchise. Texas can spend $25 million a year better by spreading it around on multiple players than giving it to a 32 year old player whose body is probably much worse than the average 32 year old athlete because of the drug abuse.

    • mdpickles - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Why would you listen to Dallas sports talk and not Angels sports talk?

  2. tcostant - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Tell the Rangers to stay away from Adam LaRoche, the Nats want him back on a two year deal, but would loss all leverage if the Rangers offered three years.

    • dcfan4life - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      The Nats have shown they know they can replace Laroche if needed and are sticking to their 2 year offer. If they Rangers grab him now i wouldnt worry, we will be fine. Tyler Moore or Michael Morse are pretty good replacements.

  3. braddavery - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Jumping ship right over to a divisional rival without even really considering the team that made him who he is. Pretty low-brow.

    • texassportsfan2 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      Agreed

      • heydiddlediddlerayriceupthemiddle - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        If you recall, this was the home crowd that was booing him as he went 0-4 in the one-game playoff against Baltimore. I’m pretty sure he didn’t forget about that.

      • braddavery - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Every player gets booed at some point in their career. Rangers fans loved Hamilton and certainly didn’t want him to leave… especially for the Angels. He seems over-emotional to me. Most of what he accomplished has been with Texas, so to leave like he did is a pretty big FU to Texas and their/his fans.

      • PHILLYPHanalysis - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        I wouldn’t have stayed if I was him. He is probably the first person to get booed that much while having a season hitting .285 with 43 HR’s and 120+ RBI’s…rangers fans might have something to do with the decision. At least phillies fans boo people that can’t break .250…

    • kevinleaptrot - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Considering that “the team that made him who he is” showed little interest in signing or negotiating, they got exactly what they deserved. Besides, he did them a favor. This contract is going to make people forget all about ARod’s contract in a couple of years. Hamilton is damaged goods and his best years are behind him.

      • braddavery - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        True. You make some good points here.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      I also can’t believe he didn’t give the Reds a chance to match.

    • sgtr0c - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      I got no dog in the fight, but why couldn’t the Rangers management give him a contract yesterday? Saying you did not get the right to match is what GM’s say to save face with fans. It wasn’t really their right to have. If the way you negotiate in 2012 is to, wait to see what the player gets elsewhere, then offer, you will lose every time. It is why the salaries are where they are, keep up Rangers.

      • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        The Rangers org isn’t claiming a right to an opportunity to match (that is your incorrect interpretation), but merely that such was promised to them by Josh Hamilton.

        Jeff Passan tweeted this Oct. 12: “Josh Hamilton just said it’s a 50-50 shot he comes back to Texas and will give the Rangers the right to match any offer.”

        And this message was reiterated throughout the offseason

      • sgtr0c - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

        There is no right to match with 125 million. Grow up. Whatever the writer wrote, that you believe was true went out the window with 125 million. Do you really believe that? The writer is printing a story to feed his family, written to Ranger’s fans, with what he was told by people trying to get/not pay 125 million. This is 2012.

      • sgtr0c - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:26 PM

        And for the record the article says Jon Daniels said they were not given the right to match. Well, it says according to Daniels, reguardless, the GM is considered part of a team, as in the Rangers, which is what I said.

      • thereisaparty - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:19 AM

        I’m having trouble following you. Especially the “grow up” part. And your claims that I am just chosing to believe a certain writer (Do you mean the one that wrote this post?)

        The Rangers were told early and often that they would have a chance to match. I don’t see the contract amount changes that. Negiotiations with Hamilton were surely centered around this idea. Why not see what the market is, and drop out when the cost is greater than the expected benefit? Instead what the Rangers presumed to be an open-auction was ended without warning. It shouldn’t be too difficult to see why JD is less than thrilled about how this played out.

    • mondogarage - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      Right, because the Rangers never ever had a moment between the end of the season and today, when they could have made an offer to Josh Hamilton.

    • American of African Descent - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      So if a rival employer offered you a significantly better compensation than your current employer, you wouldn’t jump at it, despite the fact that the skills you honed at your current employer made it possible for you to get the offer from the rival?

      (And please don’t use the whole “if I were making what these guys are making,” canard. Also, if you say that you would use the rival offer as leverage with your current employer, you’re a moron.)

  4. tcostant - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    BTW – Do you think the Braves realized they could have Hamilton trolling CF for an extra $10/year rather than Upton?

    • paperlions - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Considering their differences in health history, age, and defensive ability….I’d be pretty content if I was the Braves, especially within the context of their fixed corporate budget.

  5. mirmz - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Trout
    Callaspo
    Pujols
    Hamilton
    Morales
    Kendrick
    Trumbo
    Ianetta
    Aybar

    Giddy up.

  6. sportsnut101 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    wow the angels have no excuses now they have 3 of the top ten best playes in the leage on their team

    take that dodgers n ur spending spree lol

    • beelza - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Detroit still the team to beat in AL

      • slumdog66 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

        Detroit!? they weren’t impressive during the season, won a crappy division, got hot in the playoffs, and TANKED in the world series. far from the team to beat.

      • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        The team to beat is a team that finished below 6 other teams last year in win% …

      • beelza - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        How many rings does win% get you? Until a new AL champ. Detroit is the team to beat.

      • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        How many rings does losing in the WS get you? I think 162 games is more representative than a 5 game series and a 7 series. The Angels had a better record than the Tigers last year.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 13, 2012 at 9:11 PM

        I enjoy how much it pains them that we are AL Champs. :) Merry Christmas!

  7. cur68 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Shit just got real crazy in the AL West. Yowza.

  8. 12strikes - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    In the words of P. T. Barnum
    “There’s a sucker born every minute”

    • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      *P.T. Barnum never said this. The saying stands in direct opposition to how he viewed his customers.

  9. kcmaddog1 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    And the rich get richer! Anaheim and LA. Best teams money can buy! MLB needs to cap payroll. NOW!

  10. beelza - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Jon Daniels leaked this BS comment as a way of trying to deflect massive Rangers fan revolt and anger. Jon had all year to get this done – he didn’t, and Nolan didn’t want to. Now go ahead Nolan, and raise those ticket prices. Someone left the cake out in the rain.

    • El Bravo - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      That’s where cake deserves to be. Pie rulz.

      • beelza - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        hair pie?

      • historiophiliac - Dec 13, 2012 at 9:12 PM

        bread pudding!

  11. trybe29dr - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Honestly with all the critizism he took in Texas im not surprised he wanted a new start somewhere else

  12. El Bravo - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    NICK SWISHER????? ahahahhahahahahahahahha hahahahahhahahahahah haha ha ha hahhahahahahah aha

    If the Rangers lose their best hitter to their division rival and then pick up Swisher in said hitter’s place, they might have had the worst offseason of all time.

    • alang3131982 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Is Hamilton that much better than Swisher? Hamilton i sroughyl 6 months younger, but he has played 50 or so less games over the last three seasons.

      over the past 3 years, fangraphs has Swisher within 5 fWAR of Hamilton.

      In the last two years that mark gets incredibly close: 8.4 to 7.7.

      Over the last two seasons, Swisher in 1,259 plate appearances has a .369 OBP. Hamilton in 1,174 PAs has a .350 OBP. There is little disputing Hamilton better hitter for power, but their weighted runs created over the past two seasons are apart by just 3 points.

      Hamilton is starting to get far away from his otherworldly 2010.

      • El Bravo - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        Is Hamilton that much better than Swisher? Yes. That should suffice, but….

        First, 8.4 and 7.7 are not at all “incredibly close”. 8.4 are 8.3 would fit that definition. Second, no fielding stats? Third, Hamilton’s upside is better than any hitter in baseball (remember May?). Fourth, Nick Swisher is a douchenozzle.

      • alang3131982 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        .7 over two years is .35 a year…that’s not a huge difference, you’re talking about 1/3 of a win basically per year….that’s close.

        Hamilton’s upside is great, his downside is also great. his durability doesnt seem to something you can bank on either.

        I’m not sure what a douchenozzle is, but if by that you mean someone who had the 29th best OBP last season, sure. Since 2011, Swisher has the 17th best OBP in baseball, Hamilton is 44th.

        I granted that Hamilton is likely the better player now, although there is a reasonable chance Swisher outperforms hamilton in 2013.

        In addition, if you add Swisher for half of Hamilton, then add another player with the extra money, it’s pretty easy to replace Hamilton.

        If you have any real arguments other than quoting one month’s of statistics or made up words, i’d like to hear them.

      • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        The decimals in WAR give a false sense of certainty. It is probably wise to consider them at both 7.5 to 8.5 over the past two years, with a slight advantage to Hamilton before digging deeper.

      • El Bravo - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        I fully admit my hatred for Swisher is unreasonable. I fully admit that he is a douchenozzle, despite your lack of knowledge of the definition of this word. I fully admit that if Swisher has a better 2013 by any standard than Josh Hamilton (barring injury of course) than I will no longer post on HBT ever again. In fact, I’ll ensure it by posting horrible things until I’m banned for life. Deal?

    • bigmeechy74 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      Um…. Nick Swisher isn’t bad. And they still have a good team. I’m not an angels or rangers fan so I’m looking at this objectively. You realize Hamilton is 32 and swung at every pitch that was 2 feet off the plate the entire second half last year? You think he’s gonna be awesome in yrs 3,4, and 5 of that contract? I don’t.

      • El Bravo - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        I can’t believe there’s anyone trying to say Swisher is even close to as good as Hamilton. Truly, TRULY, you are not being objective at all. I’m biased, I hate Nick Swisher more than I hate Nick Swisher. But still, get a grip, are you serious?

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        I never said he was as good. But he is good. And he won’t cost them 125 million dollars. So they will still have a good team and more money to spend to improve other areas. Understand?

  13. papacrick - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Now him and Pujols get to challenge Fielder-Cabrera for best 1-2 punch in the bigs

    • tonybuster2013 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      I think Pablo and Buster will have something to say about all that!! Respect the Giants

      • stex52 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        Buster/Pablo is very sound. And they have an age advantage. It will depend on resiliency of Pujols. I still think the other two are better, but the SF guys are likely to do it a lot longer.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      Don’t leave out V-Mart!

  14. indaburg - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    I’m so tired of this west coast bias.

    • stex52 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Ah! Ironic humor! har har har.

      NO, wait a minute. (Checks last few weeks of HBT). SF, Dodgers, Angels, Angels, SF Dodgers, etc.

      You’re right? Where’s our Yankee/RS/TB fix?

    • bayarea510 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Looks like ESPN writers will actually have to watch West Coast Baseball this year.

      • temporarilyexiled - Dec 14, 2012 at 7:56 AM

        Most ESPN writers classify as human oxymorons. If they actually watch West Coast baseball, their heads will surely explode and we’ll have to clean up the empty shells.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      I think you’re right. We may not even get our daily edition of who the BloSox are into today.

  15. crazycossack - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Rangers stated last summer that he wouldn’t be back. Why the surprise now?

    • El Bravo - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      B/c he signed with their division rival. That’s the surprising part, not that he left Texas.

      • stex52 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        It’s about the money. No surprise should be expected. I buy that Daniels is trying to save face here. If Texas wanted him, they sure weren’t acting like it.

  16. navyteach - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Wow, the Angels outfield instantly become rediculous. Hamilton, Trout, and Trumbo can all mash it. Let’s not forget that they have Pujols as well. I wonder what they are going to do with Wells? Are they going to pay him $20+ million to sit on the bench? He does SUCK but that is a lot of cash for someone to keep the bench warm for the guys who actually play.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      Who actually cares? Aren’t these guys raking in $150 mm a year in their TV deal? That’s the owner’s problem.

      • stex52 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        Not so sure, Francisco. I just found out this week that up to 48% of that money has to be put into the pot for revenue sharing. Now I’m not sure how these West Coast teams can spend the money they are. Especially with the luxury tax at 178 MM$, too.

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        Where did you read that? Inquiring minds would like to know. However up to 48% sounds an awful like those clearance sales at the stores: “Up to 70% discount.” when you go there you find out the only stuff at 70% discount are tweezers, hankerchiefs and sock puppets. The rest of the stuff is still at retail…

      • stex52 - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        It went around on the HBT threads this week when the Dodgers were doing the drunken sailor thing. There are a couple of interesting links. I had no idea there was local revenue sharing.

        You should check.

  17. fissels - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Awesome lineup on paper. We’ll see how things actually work out for them.

  18. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I can’t wait to see what the Angels are like in 4 years. If things break right, they could have won two World Series by then. If they break the other way, they could be fielding a hobbling Pujols, a Hamilton who can’t swing straight because he can’t get his head straight, and a Trout who is the best player in the league and desperately wants to escape a sinking Angels ship.

  19. irishphilly87 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    what is going on with baseball? teams are spending crazier money than even the Yankees…. all these tv deals for teams like LA Angels and Dodgers and Texas…. freaking spending $300 million in an offseason…. The Phillies have a massive tv deal coming up and they better sign 1 or 2 of the 3 big free agents next year, Mike Stanton, Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury

    • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Giancarlo Stanton is not a FA anytime soon. Keep dreaming.

  20. packerpride03 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Rangers have had all year to sign him!

  21. irishphilly87 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Hamilton 5 years is a little too much i was hoping the Phillies would get him for 3 and a 4th year option but whatever hes old news now as far as im concerned go to LA n get some of that LA dope

  22. miketreedy - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Hamilton is in the middle of making a movie about his life. Only bad things will happen with him hanging out in Hollywood wanting to be a big time celebrity. He is total ego driven without any self control. They wouldn’t even let him carry his own wallet when he traveled. Good riddance…

    • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      It was Hamilton who chose not carry cash in his wallet. He takes the necessary steps (and more) to avoid situations that might tempt him. It takes an insane amount of self control to live the lifestyle he does.

  23. vincentbojackson - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Ranger fans shouldn’t be shocked by this.

    He came to Texas after turning his back on a Reds organization that helped him resurrect his career.

    Now he turns his back on the Rangers after standing by him during his relapse.

    It’s in the guy’s character to live a destructive lifestyle.

    • irishphilly87 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      yeah he sounds like an strange asshole, i guess i’m happy he isn’t a phillie… too much risk we already have a questionable contract in Ryan Howard… lets see next year’s FA’s its going to be a good class!

      • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Howard’s contract is only questionable if you are considering his contract to be worse than ARod’s. Otherwise there is no doubt that the deal is awful.

    • gpatrick15 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      They had all year to sign him, and made very few attempts. His contract was up, he owed them nothing. Hell it didn’t seem like anyone in the organization actually liked him. If they wanted to ensure that he didn’t immediately jump to a divisional rival, they should have either re-signed him or traded him to a team that would have. Instead, they rested on their laurels and are allegedly blindsided about the outcome.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Turned his back on the Reds? Rangers traded Edinson Volquez for Hamilton.

  24. beelza - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    How do you spell LA Relapse ?

    H-A-M-I-L-T-O-N

  25. badbiker - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Come on. Five years and $125 million for a 32 year old that has probably already seen his best days? Not a good move, even if the Angels are swimming in greenbacks. Maybe the Angels should check with the Cubs and see how long-term contracts work out for players with “issues?”

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