Out of all the things that don’t belong in Milwaukee, Josh Hamilton is one of them.
Aside from his astronomical numbers he’s put up in the past few years, signing someone like him to a long-term deal is financial suicide. As we all know, Hamilton will settle for long-term and long-term only. At 31, Hamilton can still put up some monster numbers, but for how much longer? Cynicism aside, Hamilton is not a machine and will eventually get to a point of regression that’ll have him chased out of Wisconsin faster than the Chicago Bears. Yes, there is a risk when a team signs any player, but Hamilton does not need to be one of these risks.
Here’s a few reasons why the Milwaukee Brewers should steer clear of this gigantic rumor:
- Where would he play?
Obviously Hamilton is a center fielder, but do you really want to see Carlos Gomez on the bench? I sure don’t because Gomez offers something that Hamilton doesn’t, speed. Speed not only in the outfield, but around the infield too as Gomez stole 37 bases in 2012. Hamilton offers a nice bat yes, but putting Gomez on the bench is a direct slap in the face to everything Carlos has worked for. He earned his job in center and I would hate to see him benched.
Well, you obviously can’t put Hamilton in left field because that belongs to Ryan Braun and right field to Norichika Aoki. Yet again, it’s not that Hamilton is a bad defender, but that he simply doesn’t fit into this outfield without benching some form of talent.
- Too much money for too much uncertainty.
Let’s look at two examples in Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. Both were and still for the most part are amazing players. Looking at A-Rod in particular, he’s a player who won AL MVP twice with the New York Yankees after signing that monster contract, but would soon see that production slide away. Looking at his past two years, this isn’t at all what the Yankees envisioned. Yes, factoring in the human aspect, A-Rod is not perfect, neither is Pujols or Hamilton, so that’s why a huge contract for maybe one or two years of good, solid and consistent production is not worth it.
Reportedly, Hamilton is looking for a seven-year, $175 million contract, which I can assure you is about the entirety of the Brewers’ salaries, if not more. Even the Texas Rangers are a bit skeptical on re-signing their star for that long so that tells you a team that could definitely keep that bat is willing to let him walk. The uncertainty of not knowing how he would do say four or five years from now is not worth the investment. Factoring in injuries, or in Hamilton’s case, his personal struggles and relapses, would only be detrimental to the Brewers.
- The Brewers’ offense isn’t the problem.
If you watched a Brewers’ game at all in 2012, you would know that our offense was by far not the problem. Everyone in this line-up can hit, and well at that. Sure, it’d be nice to have an addition like Hamilton, but it’s highly unnecessary. As in the point made above, the cost is just too ridiculous. The Brewers are willing to spend in the department of pitching, whether it be starting or relief. Besides, being a team reliant on the offense too much causes a weak pitching staff. Look at teams like the Rangers, Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. They are all teams with pretty decent offenses, but pitching staffs that leave a lot to be desired.
- Final Thoughts
Hamilton is not a bad player and obviously there are quite a few teams that would love to have him on their roster. Unfortunately for most teams, Hamilton’s cost alongside off the field issues do not necessarily make him an instant buy. He’ll more than likely be rated one of the top, if not the top, free agent from now until whenever he signs with the Rangers or another team. He has an amazing bat, but one has to wonder how much longer he has before the regression becomes more and more noticeable. Clearly 2012 was a year in which Hamilton had one of his best seasons, but he began to cool off after his incredible start. Wherever Hamilton lands, I wish him the best of luck, but I know it won’t be in Milwaukee, nor should it be.