Posts for hamilton

UPDATE: Angels Sign Josh Hamilton

Kyle Scott - December 13, 2012

UPDATE: My God. According to reports, the Angels have signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal

Yeah, wow is right. So much for that.

The Phillies Offered Ichiro a Two-Year Contract

Kyle Scott - December 13, 2012

W wh wha what?!

The Phillies apparently offered Ichiro a two-year, $14 million deal:


That’s news, and it indicates that the Phillies are bargain (and old man?) hunting this winter. Ichiro is 39 and at the very tail end of his career. He’s durable, yes – he played in all but one game since since 2010 – but he's far from the player he once was, with his OBP dipping to .310 and .307 the past two seasons, respectively (though he did hit .322 with a .340 OBP for the Yankees the second half of last season).

For the final outfield spot, the Phillies have been linked to everyone from Josh Hamilton to Cody Ross, with Ichiro falling somewhere in the middle of that aged and curious spectrum, whose membership I would imagine requires a wrinkly body and old balls.

Alfonso Soriano, Nick Swisher and other assorted players who were much better options in 2010 are also included in that group.


Pouring Some Cold Water on Your Josh Hamilton Boner

Kyle Scott - December 13, 2012

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I hate to do this to you during the holidays – pour ice water on your excitement – but Jon Heyman is reporting that it’s looking more and more likely that Josh Hamilton will stay in Texas: [CBS Sports]

Josh Hamilton and the Rangers have continued to stay in touch, and while the Mariners and others are showing interest, rivals suggest they believe the chances of Hamilton staying with Texas have increased in recent days.


They have increased because Zack Greinke, a target of the Rangers, signed with the Dodgers, and Justin Upton, another target, likely won’t be traded. That means the Rangers have the money to sign Hamilton or, at the very least, up the bidding for him. Had the Rangers got Greinke or Upton, they probably would have moved on from Hamilton, leaving teams like the Phillies and Mariners to duke it out. But that didn't happen, and the Rangers, being the incumbent, have the upper hand.

The Phillies reportedly made a three-year offer to Hamilton, according to Philadelphia radio station WIP, and while Philly GM Ruben Amaro has a reputation for luring the big fish, it's still hard to see Hamilton leaving Texas for a three-year deal. Presumably, they'd have to up that to four years, at least, have a chance.


Two things, though: If Hamilton wants so bad to be in Texas, why is it taking so long to resign? The market seems to be fairly dry, so why the delay in getting it done? Is Hamilton just playing the Phillies and Mariners to up his price for Texas? Or, are the reported three-year offers from the Phils and Mariners not really what’s out there? I find it hard to believe that the Phillies – who have the cash, and who would almost benefit by offering something like four years, $100 million instead of three years, $80 million (lower AAV to stay under luxury tax threshold) – wouldn’t offer more than what has been reported. Ruben Amaro isn’t one to balk at overspending on a superstar, especially if said superstar could be signed for under $100 million. 

It sounds like the Rangers have enough going for them – money, incumbent, need – to resign Hamilton. But I can’t imagine that if the Phillies really did offer three years, $80 million, they wouldn’t go a little bit higher if it meant the difference between signing Hamilton and settling for someone like Cody Ross, who, again, can go fuck himself.

Report: The Phillies Offered Josh Hamilton Three Years, $80 Million

Kyle Scott - December 11, 2012

This afternoon on WIP, Anthony Gargano reported that the Phillies offered Josh Hamilton a deal for around three years, $80 million. That would be in-line with other offers to Hamilton (there were reports that the Mariners had offered three years, $60-$75 million). 

This is the first indication – from anywhere – that the Phils have offered Hamilton anything. As I wrote in the running commentary, if Hamilton’s going rate really is $75 million or so, then Rube needs to offer 80, or whatever it takes, because this is all, like, less than half of what Hamilton was originally expecting.

I'm assuming, however, that the Rangers will be given a chance to match any offer to Hamilton, especially since they missed out on Zack Greinke and the crazy money he got.

There’s also this, from Glen Macnow, Gargano’s partner in the afternoon:

We can debate CBP being more of a hitters park than the Ballpark in Arlington, but whatevs. This makes me all hot (and a little bit bothered) this holiday season. Do it, Rube.

Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies talked to the Cubs about a Dom Brown for Alfonso Soriano swap. He says Hamilton may be a tough fit for the Phillies.

Here’s What Ruben Amaro Had to Say About Josh Hamilton, Ben Revere and Markets Today

Kyle Scott - December 7, 2012

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Is that longways or around?


Ruben Amaro was on the WIP Morning Show today and he actually gave some insight into the Phillies’ offseason plans… without saying a whole lot of anything.

On Ben Revere: Rube said Sandy Alomar Jr. in Cleveland thanked him for getting the pain in the ass out of their division. “Pain in the ass” is perhaps the greatest compliment you can pay a speedy center fielder. There were years earlier in this millennium (that’s fun to write, and I like writing fun things) when I wanted to kill Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo for being those sorts of players.

“Did we overpay for the guy? I don’t know, maybe we did. But we felt like this is a very specific need. And I guess the philosophy is, if we are going to give up a fourth or fifth starter to get an everyday player in the Major Leagues, particularly at a premium position, then I would do it every time.”

On Josh Hamilton: “To have power on the club, there’s an overpayment that’s drastic. There aren’t very many guys out there other than B.J. Upton and Josh Hamilton, really, who have power. And you’re talking about going to stratospheres economically that I don’t know are the right thing for us to do. In Hamilton’s case, he’s the best player out there, there’s no question. But the commitment to bring him here may not be right for us. And that’s the issue.” 

“The only thing I can tell you right now is were trying to piece together a couple more of those needs (power, third base, setup man), and the other piece on that is that I’d like to go shorter on contracts rather than longer.”

My take: Amaro brought Hamilton’s name up first, which isn’t a great sign – since Rube prefers to hunt by lying in the weeds, waiting, watching, showing off his manhood – but then he talked about how Hamilton was the only true impact player out there and how he’s willing to overspend for guys like that. Since the Mariners are in talks with Hamilton for a three-year, $75 million deal (reportedly), you can take a little leap to the conclusion that the Phillies would absolutely be players for Hamilton. Rube made it clear they want to add a run producer, and if the Mariners are the only real competition for perhaps the best run producer in baseball, then it’s silly to think that the Phillies aren’t very seriously trying to get Hamilton, and doing it in a way that fulfills the predatory instincts of the Big Poker. 

On the market: “It was a scary market from the beginning because we didn’t feel like it was a very strong market, and yet there was the sense all of a sudden there was the influx of money (from TV contracts). So that’s a bad combo platter for the industry as far as how the markets are going to shift. And it shifted. You either got to play in it or you try to be creative and work around it, which is what were trying to do on a couple different fronts.”

I could listen to Rube talk about markets for hours and hours. Combo platter? Yes, I’ll have that, with a side of soup, Rube. This, from the guy who flings pools of cash onto negotiating tables with his massive manhood. Of course, in retrospect, the total dollars given to Halladay, Lee, Hamels and, yes, Howard are not out of line with the market

On trading Cliff Lee: Amaro said he never considered trading Lee, because if the Phillies have a chance of winning the World Series next year, Amaro says, it’s with the Big 3. He added that if there’s one guy who can reinvent himself after losing some stuff, it’s Roy Halladay, who will start throwing off a mound this month.

Rube also talked about why he’s really the only accessible GM in the town– said he grew up here, understands that fans are nuts and want to be involved in process, respects that… while saying almost nothing of use. 

Tell me lies, Rube. Tell me sweet little lies. 

Audio after the jump.

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The Phillies Missed Out on B.J. Upton, But One Report Says They Might Go After Josh Hamilton

Kyle Scott - November 29, 2012

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The Phillies missed out on their man last night, when B.J. Upton signed with the Braves for $75 million ridiculous and foolish dollars. So, it’s on to option two or three, which could be Josh Hamilton. Here’s what ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick had to say last night:

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Those read an awful lot like these Tweets from Ken Rosenthal, Jon Heyman and Jayson Stark just hours before the Phillies signed Cliff Lee. 

Previously, Heyman wrote that Hamilton would be the Phillies’ third option if they were unable sign Upton or Michael Bourn. Well, Upton is off the board and Bourn is probably going to cost more than he’s worth (though the Phillies are reportedly still interested in him).

Jim Salisbury writes that the Phillies have some reservations about Hamilton (I do too), noting his struggles with addiction. But he doesn’t rule out the possibility. Jayson Stark, however, says the Phillies are “not in on [Hamilton].”

I think signing Hamilton for the upwards of $175 million he wants would be foolish. The Phillies don’t need another aging star with a monster contract. But, recent reports about large payouts to teams from league TV contracts have shown that what was considered to be a ton of money five years ago may be a bargain today. Starting in 2014, teams will receive around $27 million more per season from national TV deals, according to this report by Matt Gelb of And that doesn’t factor in the massive local TV contract the Phillies are going to get in 2015, when their current deal with CSN expires. When compared with other big market teams, the Phils receive relatively little from their current deal– $35 million. [This FanGraphs article ranks team TV contracts.] So, with an infusion of cash coming, the Phillies could likely afford Hamilton. Hell, there have already been reports that they’re OK with his salary demands. It might not be smart, but they could do it.

Salisbury also points out that the trade for Astros reliever Wilton Lopez has stalled, for now. Lopez was in Philadelphia for a physical yesterday, but the trade was never finalized as expected. The assumption (worry?) is that the Phillies found something they didn’t like. Lopez missed time with an elbow injury last season.

Anyway, Rube is the great distractor, and all of this focus on Upton and, to a lesser degree, Lopez and Ryan Madson, could have been a diversion from the real target– Josh Hamilton. Or Shane Victorino: 

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Report: Phillies are “OK” with Josh Hamilton’s Salary Demands

Kyle Scott - November 12, 2012

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Here we go. Coming off a report from last week that the Phils kicked Josh Hamilton’s tire, Buster Olney tweets the following:


It’s always an issue of finding the perfect size and length, she said.

Reports say Hamilton is looking for a deal somewhere in the seven-year, $175 million range (aren’t we all?). At 31, that would lock him up until he’s – math man! – 38. That’s old. So, the question: Is 38 too old for a guy who used to stick needles in his arm at an alarming rate? 

On one hand, Hamilton, thanks to his drug problems, didn’t play baseball from 2003-2005, and started his Major League career in 2007, at 26. That means he has fewer baseball miles on his body than a guy who slugged around the minors or played in the bigs during his mid-20s. 

On the other hand… he was drinking and doing drugs those years. So, his body may be worse off than others his age. 

And that’s the issue– it’s not about money anymore. The Phillies have silly amounts of it and they’re about to get a massive local TV contract in 2015. They can afford another $25 million-per-year deal. But do they want to lock up another over 30 player, albeit a superstar? I says no. Hamilton is too risky. As we’re seeing with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, and Alex Rodriguez, baseball isn’t kind to guys once they start approaching their mid and late-30s. Literally the last thing the Phillies need is another aging star with a massive contract. And they certainly don’t need one who is a legitimate relapse risk, something Hamilton has done twice since recovering from his substance abuse problems.

Olney also mentioned that the Phillies are talking with Cody Ross, who can go fuck himself.

Yeah, Ruben Amaro Checked in on Josh Hamilton

Kyle Scott - November 9, 2012

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Fuck B.J. Upton rumors. This is more Ruben Amaro’s speed. That’s not to say I agree with it, but let’s kick this tire: Bow-tie man Ken Rosenthal checks in with his first Phillies-related hot stove report of the winter. This one, predictable:

They want a center fielder, and their preference is thought to be B.J. Upton. But the Phillies also are pursuing Cody Ross and other outfielders, and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “We’re keeping all of our options open.”

Hamilton would appear to be a stretch, both from a financial and baseball perspective. But two industry sources say the Phillies are quietly checking on him. While their background work might only be due diligence, Amaro loves to make a splash, loves to surprise.

The fit isn’t great; the Phils frankly need a right-handed hitter more than another left-handed one. On the other hand, Hamilton had an .853 OPS against lefties last season. Upton, a right-handed hitter, was at .792.

The final word: Phillies general partner David Montgomery is probably too image-conscious to seriously consider Hamilton, and the team already has $135.6 million committed for next season, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.



Not really. Josh Hamilton facts: He’s 31 and is going to command a substantial, roughly seven-year, $175 million deal. He nearly ruined his career and life with drugs and alcohol and, as a result, may be in better (less miles), or worse (more tracks), shape than other 31-year-old baseball players. He’s had two relapses even after his 2008 breakout performance at the Home Run Derby. He’s missed at least a month of a baseball in three of the past four seasons.

I know he’s the big, sexy name, and perhaps for a year, or two, would make the Phillies legitimate contenders again. But too risky. I would have been all for signing him in 2010. Not now, not after what I saw last season. The Phillies are old, need change. Cole Hamels is really the only guy you can count on for the next five years. Everyone else is a question mark after two, at best. Signing Hamilton only makes the Phillies older, more burdened by massive contracts. If two of the following three applied, then maybe I would be more into the Phillies going after him: 1) he was 29 or younger, 2) he wasn’t a risk to piss his life and career away by suffering yet another relapse, and 3) his durability wasn’t a question, both because he’s missed time with injury and because there isn’t a large sample size of baseball players in their mid and late-30s who were once heavy drug users. 

Also, because of his religion and substance abuse problems, respectively, doesn't sign autographs on Sundays and can't celebrate with champagne. No one wants that.

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