By: Jeff Riger
Detroit sports are a rough go these days! The Lions really haven’t beaten anybody, Michigan and Michigan State have been underwhelming, the Pistons seem to be awful in the early going and there is no hockey! What are Detroit sports fans supposed to get excited about?
The MLB offseason of course.
As much as I always enjoyed baseball free agency there is even more reason now to love it because of Mr. I. It is no secret that Mike Ilitch is willing to do whatever it takes to bring Detroit a World Championship which obviously includes spending a whole lot of money to bring free agents to town.
Names like Anibal Sanchez, Angel Pagan and Cody Ross have all been thrown out there as possibilities and now we can add Josh Hamilton to the list. Sure Hamilton has always been talked about as a possible target but now it seems like the chatter has increased. Monday morning a couple of national baseball writers predicted that Detroit will land Hamilton.
Click HERE to see the CBSSports Article
Just because a couple national guys think Hamilton will come here doesn’t mean it’s going to happen but it does make perfect sense. We know Ilitch loves bringing stars to town and there is no doubt that Hamilton is the biggest super star in this year’s crop of free agents. We also know that Mr. I will not hesitate to over spend on a guy that he thinks will be able to make a difference here. Ilitch overpaid for Pudge, Magglio, Damon and Prince; do you want him to do the same for Hamilton?
I don’t, but I think a lot of you do!
So below I have decided to list my top 4 reasons as to why the Tigers should not pursue Hamilton.
Before I get started, I thought I would point out that I’m a fan of Hamilton! The guy has been classy when I have talked to him; he signs for every fan in the house and how can you not get inspired by his story? I truly like the guy, so I ask you to keep that in mind as I now list my reasons as to why it would be a BAD idea to bring him here.
4. Texas is through with him!
The Rangers are done with Josh Hamilton, a guy that led them to 2 consecutive World Series and was a huge part in turning the franchise around. Why don’t they want him anymore? Is it strictly money? I find that hard to believe considering in 2012 Texas brought in guys like Yu Darvish and Joe Nathan and sent their payroll over 120 million dollars for the first time in franchise history. They spent last season and by all reports are rumored to do the same this year as the team is interested in BJ Upton and Zack Greinke. Texas was also third in MLB attendance in 2012 meaning there is no reason for the club to stop spending now. Sure Hamilton is looking for a 7 year deal worth 175 million which would be expensive for any club, but Texas has the cash if they wanted to use it.
3. The baggage
The real reason that the Rangers don’t want Hamilton back probably has more to do with his baggage then the amount of money he would cost. We all know what Josh Hamilton has been through! From the drug addiction to the very public relapses; it becomes difficult to make the required investment on Hamilton because he might fall victim again to his disease. The Tigers have successfully dealt with Miguel Cabrera’s issues and have already said good bye to Delmon Young who was involved in an alleged hate crime in New York despite being the team’s best hitter in the post season. Why would Detroit want to bring in the potential head ache of a Hamilton, knowing full well he could make the team look very silly? Sure his talent can be worthwhile for a team willing to pay him, but I believe the risk is too great.
2. His age
Hamilton is 31 years old and is reaching the end of the prime of his career. Hamilton’s average has steadily declined from that magical 2010 MVP season and he also did not produce in the most important games of the year. The outfielder went hitless in the Rangers wildcard loss to the Orioles and hit .245 in the last month of the season as the Rangers coughed away the AL West Division to the A’s. Hamilton did set a career high in homers and RBI in 2012, but a lot of those numbers were secured during the beginning and middle of the season. I believe Hamilton is a great talent, I just don’t know how long it will last! It should also be pointed out that the North Carolina native has trouble staying on the field. Hamilton has missed a combined 157 games over the last four seasons.
1. The Loot
The Tigers need a young or short term solution in the outfield, Hamilton is neither. I believe spending that kind of money on him is just asking for long term problems. Will he still be productive when he is 35 or 36 or 37? Odds seem to be against him. We have the same questions about Prince Fielder who is younger and doesn’t miss any games. Bringing in Hamilton to add to those worries for the future would seem to be irresponsible. Detroit can go after a 28 year old Michael Bourn who has a ton of speed, hits for average and plays great defense or BJ Upton who has power, drives in runs and can wreak havoc on the base paths and is also 28. Bourn and Upton combined would cost less than Hamilton and would be more productive in the long run. The Tigers can also opt to go with Avisail Garcia, Nick Castellanos, Andy Dirks and others to solve their outfield woes for next to nothing and hope that they turn into main stays. I don’t have a problem with adding more payroll to an already pricey team, I just have a problem if that money is for Hamilton.
What do you think?