History of the Highest Paid Player in Baseball

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If the rumors and tweets and deals aren’t your cup of team lar at Wezen-Ball has a fun feature up today. He went back through contemporaneous newspaper accounts of every single
person who was considered the highest paid player in baseball, if even he only held that status for a day or so like Mark Langston did in 1989.  It goes back to the time Nolan Ryan allegedly broke the bank in Houston to become baseball’s first $1 million a year player.

Pretty neat stuff. Definitely puts today’s deals in perspective.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.