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Jon Daniels is “disappointed” at Josh Hamilton? Cry me a river.

Dec 14, 2012, 8:26 AM EDT

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Searching for empathy … searching for empathy … nope, can’t find any:

Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he was disappointed that his club didn’t at least get a chance to “have a conversation” before Hamilton accepted any deal … “there was a relationship over time. I thought we understood that we had a chance to at least have a conversation.”

Thing about that relationship over time: it afforded you months, if not years, prior to the end of the 2012 baseball season to offer a contract extension to Hamilton without him being able to talk to anyone else. And nothing at all prevented you from talking to Hamilton since the end of the season until yesterday. Yet you never had any sense of urgency about that. Here’s Daniels two weeks ago:

“I think the way that we have chosen to proceed here is that we’re not necessarily driving the timetable. There may come a time when we need to change that, but so far it’s been fine.”

And during the Winter Meetings, when Hamilton was reported to have had serious conversations with the Mariners, Daniels did not meet with Hamilton — who actually went to Nashville personally — or his agents:

The Rangers are also ready to make an offer to Hamilton although Daniels has not yet met with agent Mike Moye since arriving in Nashville on Sunday. Daniels said he’s not sure if he will meet with Moye before the meetings end on Thursday.

“We may, but we don’t have anything set in stone,” Daniels said.

You snooze, you lose, Jon. And you snoozed. Which means that if you really wanted Josh Hamilton back, you blew it.

And if you didn’t truly want him back and had no intention of matching a five year, $125 million offer, you’re just grandstanding here in order to get your very angry fans to be mad at Hamilton, not you and Nolan Ryan. Which is pretty freakin’ weak.

  1. kbeau19 - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Guys you are all mostly and very sadly clueless, there is nothing fishy about anything it’s simple take kinsler the guy puts up 20-30 HR (just like josh) and drives in 70-90 runs from the LEADOFF spot in my opinion they move Ian to out field and put profar at 2nd and let kinslers bat replace Josh’s power in the middle….before you start saying how Ian isn’t as good as josh, I already know that but as far as power numbers go and not to mention his OBP he is just as good as josh and if we trade for upton via sending profar and NOT Elvis then we are a better team than last year so guys just stop thinking your right LA will regret doing a 5 year deal worth so much to a guy who plays hard (which means injuries) and has lapses from time to time…..and CJ are you serious? They over payed him as well he is good don’t get me wrong I’d live to keep him and I was this guys fan back when he was just a lefty specialist reliever but he isn’t young anymore…..

  2. jbones77 - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    It’s funny, the people blasting the rangers for not re-signing Hamilton are the same ones who were booing him when he was in his prolonged slump, and when supposedly “quit” on the team at the end of the year. And as for Michael Young, how many posts were on this site talking about his horrendous OPS, and how he was the worst position player on baseball? Now they’re getting criticized for trading him. Bottom line is the Rangers will be ok, and the fans will keep coming back. So get over it.

  3. kbeau19 - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    And BTW idk if you guys know but Edwin Jackson is a VERY capable winning pitcher and would be an outstanding sign by Texas for 4-5 years

  4. jwbiii - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Slow playing is just a negotiating technique. Both GMs and agents do it frequently. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Daniels has done a fine job collecting talent and building a winner, but whining to the press and trying to lay the blame elsewhere when your negotiating ploy fails is pretty poor behavior. Something like, “We had hoped to have a chance to beat any offer made to Josh, but apparently he didn’t have that option. I don’t think we would have beaten that offer anyway. CLICHE MODE ON Thanks for the memories, best of luck, sometimes it rains, etc,” would been classier.

  5. markofapro - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    @ Tash … Did you really say “Wilson and Darvish are pretty much the same player” ?
    You’ve got to be kidding me.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    The Rangers spent much of the last 6 months talking badly about Hamilton in public. Not exactly fostering a sense of welcome.

  7. gbar22 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Bah “Edwin Jackson would be an outstanding signing for Texas” somebody get Jackson’s agent off of here! Jackson is clearly back of the rotation material used on 1 or 2 year deals.

    I agree with Craig if they really wanted Hamilton they had years to work out a deal and engage in a conversation but Hamilton was clearly never their priority. Which is a crying shame considering the Rangers before Hamilton had ne’er been of a franchise. He took them to new heights and along the way everyone telling them how great they were apparently went to their heads. They came to believe that they the front office were the reason for the success when reality is its always the great players but they think they are so great and so smart that they have all the answers. Five years from now when Texas has only made the playoffs only once and never came close to another world series they will reflect on their treatment of Hamilton and Young two great players for the rangers with remiss.

    Of course Daniels believes he is great (everyone tells him he’s great) and his super talent minor leaguers will bail him out but let’s reflect on just how rare it is to develop a truly great player. Sure on paper everyone can say they have great prospects lots of teams can say that about their prospect players but there is never a guarantee that the prospects will pan out as planned and take that potential and turn it into something really special. In fact in most cases it doesn’t pan out or the player just becomes decent, nothin special. Oh well I’m happy for Hamilton I would have felt slighted as well and he gets to go to a great team and a great atmosphere and get paid as he should and if the Angels win a world series or two along the way he can just look back at daniels and say it was me that made you great and you didnt appreciate it.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      You are giving Hamilton credit for the Rangers’ success? He is just one player. And the Daniels FO was able to bring him to Texas by giving up highly touted pitching prospect Edinson Volquez, so surely his FO gets some credit for Hamilton’s performance. Daniels FO also traded Tex for Andrus, Harrison, Feliz and Salty. And drafted Holland. And signed Colby Lewis. And traded for Nelson Cruz. And traded for David Murphy … You get the point. But please give all the credit to one (albeit fantastic) player.

      How were you able to predict the next five years of MLB?

  8. APBA Guy - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    It’s not just the loss of Josh that impacts the Rangers, it’s also the loss of Napoli and the loss of CJ and the aging of Cruz and Kinsler. When you lose proven major leaguers, unless you replace them with proven guys, your guessing about what your prospects will do. Do you get Mike Trout? If so, is it the 2011 Trout or the 2012 Trout? Sure “proven” major leaguers show variability year to year, but it’s usually within a range and a front office can plan for that. Where the Rangers are now is in decline relative to where they have been.

  9. thereisaparty - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Assumptions:
    1. As was reported (early and often), Rangers were told by Hamilton that they would get the opportunity to match. Hamilton viewed the Rangers greater than or equal to all other organizations.
    2. Rangers had full faith in this oral agreement
    3. Angels gave Hamilton a take-it-or-leave-it offer (as was reported)

    The Rangers viewed the Hamilton negotiations as an ascending open auction and constructed their ideal strategy accordingly. This seems to fit the narrative of Hamilton’s offseason (according to press leaks). If the Rangers believed they would have a chance to match each offer, why not sit back and let other teams set the market and bow out only when the price exceeds expected benefit? This would explain the inactivity on their end. However, the ‘auction’ ended with a sealed bid. Whether the Rangers would’ve matched that offer we will never know (nor will we likely ever know how many of my assumptions are true). But if their strategy was built upon assurances of how the process would play out, only for the other party to renege on this agreement, it seems justified to be upset at the end result.

  10. mungman69 - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Texas will be better off without Hamilton. They can spend that money elseware.

  11. wpjohnson - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Spin all you want. Daniels dropped the ball. He has dropped the ball this entire off season. Now he is looking at losers like Edwin Jackson. Such moves won’t help. The Rangers have too many No. 4 and No. 5 starters now. They don’t need another one.

    Not signing Hamilton or Napoli and trading Young for nothing is fine. However, you better come up with good replacements. And, cleaning out the prospects will merely indicate panic.

    Daniels dropped the ball and has done a poor job. That is the bottom line.

  12. dawglb - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Craig, great piece! You hit the nail on the head. How about (Texas) taking the high-road (no pun intended), and saying, “We wish Josh all the best in his future. We realize it is a business, …we wish him well personally and professionally.”
    Nice work!

  13. metroplexfrog - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Daniels made a mistake by saying what he did, pure and simple. Ranger fans aren’t going to be mad in not signing Hamilton, I wouldn’t pay him that much. He will be good for the Angels until he isn’t, something will come up and he won’t be able to play for a few days or he’ll get injured. The Ranger front office will get a pass from me until I see them not making moves to help the club, like they have always done.

  14. sportsguygerald - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    It’s stupid for a team to bid against itself. Letting other teams set the market on a free agent and then determining whether to better is sound business. Daniels is not being a crybaby when he expressed his disappointment that the Rangers did not get that opportunity. Would they have matched? Probably not. Moreno overpaid, not so much in money for the short term, but in giving a 32 year old, declining hitter a 5 year guaranteed contract. Hamilton put up most of his HR and RBI numbers in the first 37 games. He didn’t carry his team on his back like a $25 million dollar man is expected to. He plays hard most of the time, loses focus and lacks discipline. I watched him time after time swing at pitches that he knew he couldn’t hit because he wants to hit the ball. Refusing to take what’s being given does not help the team. He doesn’t feel that taking a walk is best for the team. Refusing to make adjustments in his game as his physical skills decline is going to accelerate his lessening value. Maybe Scosia can get thru better than Washington could, but for the last three fourths of the season, he was a .240 hitter and wasn’t Superman. Guess time will tell how it works out, but I’m betting the Rangers are better off in the long run. Load up the boat for Giancano Starling and Price JD. You’ve got the trade chips to get it done.

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