The deal is done and Josh Hamilton is heading to Texas. The Rangers are paying less than $7 million for the guy, which is a great deal even if Hamilton performs at the level he’s shown in Anaheim the past two years. If, however, his health and sense of well-being are such that he’s able to approach his old level, the Rangers have themselves an absolute steal. No matter what happens, the Angels are paying Hamilton tens of millions of dollars to simply go away.
And I can’t help but think that’s their own damn fault.
While Rob Manfred continues to maintain that the Angels did not leak the fact of Hamilton’s drug relapse and the disciplinary hearing against him to the media, logic suggests that they’re the prime candidates. And even if they didn’t, the fact of the matter is that Angels officials gave multiple public comments about Hamilton in the wake of all of this, most of it negative, much of it suggesting that Hamilton has little or no value at the moment. He’s broken and sick and he’s the sort of person we don’t even want near our club, let alone on it, the Angels’ words and actions seem to have said.
There are always things that happen in negotiations we in the public don’t know about, but is it that hard to believe that, given how badly the Angels sandbagged Josh Hamilton and how clear they made it that they wanted to be rid of him that Jon Daniels realized he had a good bit of leverage here? Is it not reasonable to suggest that, had Hamilton’s issues remained confidential, they could’ve gotten a better deal for him? Not because the Rangers wouldn’t know — they’d have access to his medical history and, I presume, would be told of his relapse — but because the public wouldn’t. And if they didn’t Jon Daniels would not be able to tell Jerry Dipoto “hey, you gotta help me sell this deal to my fan base.” With said sale being a very low price tag to take on a guy perceived as damaged goods.
It’s all speculation on my part, I realize. Like I said, there are always things in these deals we do not know. But from where I’m sitting, I can’t see a lick of benefit the Angels got from publicly denigrating their player and I can’t see how this deal is particularly good for the Angels.
Maybe those things go together, maybe they don’t. But it’s hard to see what good came of the Angels’ peculiar approach to Josh Hamilton since February.