Tag: Josh Hamilton

Alex Rodriguez

Quote of the Day: A-Rod isn’t gonna talk about the $6 million home run bonus


Everyone is talking about the bonus the Yankees seem intent on not paying Alex Rodriguez for tying and, eventually, passing Willie Mays for number four on the all-time home run list. Everyone, that is, except for A-Rod:

“I’m just happy to be playing baseball. That’s family business. That’s nowhere near where my energy is these days. My energy is playing the game tonight. Just baseball . . . “I’ve been in a good place for a while now, and it’s just fun to be playing baseball. I’ve learned my lesson. The old (A-Rod) is gone.”

The “old A-Rod” referring to litigious A-Rod. Which isn’t to say that he and/or the union won’t do something about this at some point, but it makes way more sense for him to wait until the season is over so he doesn’t have to answer questions about it and stuff all year.

As we’ve noted here many times in the past, the whole home run bonus thing is a legal matter which is hard to assess without actually having access to the marketing agreement that created the bonus. This isn’t necessarily like guaranteed player salaries or bonuses in standard contracts governed by the CBA. There may, in fact, be legal and straightforwardly defensible ways for the Yankees to withhold the bonuses, so talking about the team as “reneging” on the deal or breaching a contract is premature and could, technically speaking, be wrong.

Bigger picture, however, it’s impossible to see the Yankees’ effort to avoid paying on this as anything other than a bit of spite based on a rocky relationship with A-Rod over the past several years. To exploit a “because we can” argument as opposed to appreciating “because we should” reasoning. In this, it’s not unlike the Cubs dealings with Kris Bryant’s service time or, perhaps, the Angels’ understanding of their rights with respect to Josh Hamilton.

Put differently, what is legal and what is right is not often the same thing. And sometimes pursuing one of those ends means ignoring the other.

Rangers hoping to activate Josh Hamilton in late May

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton has gone through a couple workouts at the Rangers’ extended spring training complex in Arizona and everyone involved seems happy with how he looks physically following February shoulder surgery.

Hamilton told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that he’s basically treating this time as his March, “trying to do all the stuff I usually do in spring training, so I can be ready to roll.”

Outfield instructor Dwayne Murphy said: “I like what I see from him, especially the eagerness to play. I have to put the reins on him because he wants to do a lot more.”

As for when Hamilton might actually play for the Rangers, general manager Jon Daniels indicated that the targeted return timetable is late May. Next time the Rangers play the Angels? July 3-5, in Texas.

Josh Hamilton sent a video of himself hitting to the Rangers back in March

Josh Hamilton Getty

This is interesting. Today, at Rangers camp in Surprise, Arizona, Josh Hamilton told reporters that he sent a video of him hitting back in March, presumably to show them that he was healthy. Hamilton said, “I sent video to the Rangers of me hitting March 9, full-go,” according to Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register.

The first questions this raises, of course, is one of tampering of some kind. As in, were Hamilton and/or the Rangers trying to get something done back then? Maybe not, based on the circumstances:

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram cited a source saying Hamilton’s video was sent to former teammate Michael Young, now a special assistant, and it was just two friends exchanging video, rather than Hamilton trying to manipulate a trade.

Michael Young is important, but he’s not making decisions for the Rangers. And, of course, Hamilton was persona non grata with the Angels. At most, it seems, this was a “see, I’m healthy” sort of thing. Which Hamilton backed at his press conference yesterday when he said that if he had been allowed to be with the Angels and rehab during spring training he’d be playing now.

Still, as Fletcher notes, the Angels may not be happy about his even if they’re not commenting on it now:

However, it’s not likely the Angels front office would have been happy with Hamilton sending the video if they knew about it. If Hamilton was lobbying the Rangers to acquire him, it could have affected what little leverage the Angels may have to had to make the best deal possible.

Rather rich, one thinks, given that the Angels were doing more than anyone could expect them to have done to eviscerate their own leverage during this time. If they had treated him like they should have, he may have been seen as a far more marketable player than he was perceived to be. And, as Fletcher also notes, this whole episode suggests that the Angels have been lying about Hamilton’s baseball readiness, which was their putative reason for keeping him away from the team.

My guess is that nothing comes of this. Except maybe some serious drama if the Rangers and Angels are playing meaningful games against one another down the stretch.