The Case to Trade for Josh Hamilton


If any team is looking to add some 30 home runs and 100 RBIs to the heart of their lineup, then look no further than a trade for Josh Hamilton.

The former Teas Rangers slugger is healthy for 2015 and he’s motivated. The stars are aligning and everything from his diet to workout partners is mirroring that of what it was in Texas.

Did I mention Jerry Narron will be working with Hamilton during Spring Training? Narron served as Hamilton’s accountability partner during his 2007 season with the Reds and for much of his time with the Rangers. Hired as new hitting coach of their Triple-A affiliate, the Angels are counting on Narron to help put the mojo back in Hamilton’s swing.

There’s something oddly modest in, “pretty much having a normal offseason.” After the comeback hype of Josh Hamilton’s 2014 offseason, it seems as if the sleeping giant will awake and right now, few see it coming.

It may seem unreasonable to expect a Silver Slugger and MVP votes at 34 years old, but then again, maybe not. A-Rod put up stellar power numbers the season he turned 34, as did David Ortiz, Paul Konerko, Gary Sheffield, and countless others.

In a more modest and close to home example, the 34-year-old Albert Pujols put up 28 homers and drove in 105 runs in 2014. Not only was Pujols coming off knee surgery, but also struggles with plantar fasciitis. Josh Hamilton did miss about 75 games due to torn cartilage in his thumb last season, but was able to return in time for the playoffs.

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Perhaps the biggest hurdle in any potential trade is the money factor. Hamilton is still owed more than $90 of the $125 million deal he signed in December 2012. This may seem “un-tradeable” on the surface, but the same was once said about the contracts of Prince Fielder and Matt Kemp. The Angels would certainly find a suitor if they were willing to eat somewhere in the range of $20-25 million.

It’s important to know Josh Hamilton hasn’t technically been a complete bust. He definitely isn’t the same player he was in Texas, but his .741 OPS and 3.1 WAR in two seasons with the Angels make him more modest than awful. Those aren’t the numbers Artie Moreno had in mind when he signed the check, but its not as if Hamilton lost the ability to perform.

Much like Adrian Beltre in Seattle or Adrian Gonzalez in Boston, it simply hasn’t worked out in Anaheim. Hamilton hasn’t fit well into the Angels’ lineup and with a change in scenery, the slugger can and will rebound his career.

Some advice to the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and every other MLB team in need of a power bat: wait for Spring Training to break and then look to deal for Josh Hamilton.