The Rangers wisely aren't putting all their eggs in the Josh Hamilton basket
Normally, that would mean a huge multi-year contract, for around $20M per year over the course of 5-7 years.
For Hamilton, whose career has been as tumultuous as is has been spectacular, it's not quite the same. Teams appear to be a little more cautious about him, and for good reason.
Hamilton's career was derailed before it even began, thanks to severe alcohol and drug addiction. Since he finally came back and made it to the Major Leagues, he has been nothing short of spectacular when he has been able to stay on the field.
It certainly seems like those days are behind him. However, fair or unfair, there will always be thoughts in the back of a GM's mind that Hamilton could slip up at any time.
His other big issue has been his durability. Hamilton played in 148 games last year, which is certainly acceptable, but he had missed 143 games total in the 4 years before that.
The Rangers have decided that they won't offer him more than a 3-year contract. Other teams might follow suit.
The lingering doubts around Hamilton could result in a team being able to sign him for a pretty low salary for 4-5 years, or possibly go the other way, and offer him a very high salary for only a 2-year deal.
Either way, it would be shocking if Hamilton receives anything remotely in the area of the deals offered to guys like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder last winter.
Then again, it only takes one crazy GM to blow up the market entirely, like the Nationals did with Jayson Werth a few years back.
What do you think? What would you offer Hamilton if you were a GM?