Hamilton and Rangers agree to deal

Posted in Signings on February 10th, 2011 by Thomas Schmeltz

According to a story on Espn.com, the Texas Rangers and outfielder Josh Hamilton have agreed to a two-year deal that is worth $24 million. The deal allows the two parties to avoid an arbitration hearing and covers Hamilton’s final two years of arbitration eligibility.

The story says:

“He (Hamilton) gets a $3 million signing bonus, a $7.25 million salary this year and $13.75 million in 2012.

“Hamilton made $3.25 million last season, when the Rangers went to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. When the sides exchange proposed arbitration salaries last month, Hamilton had asked for $12 million, $3.3 million more than Texas had offered. But after more discussions, they were able to bridge the gap before a hearing scheduled for Tuesday.”

Josh Hamilton after making contact. Photo courtesy of: http://theskrilla.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/josh-hamilton.jpg

Hamilton was voted as the American League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2010 season even though he missed nearly all of September due to injury. He batted an AL best .359 and hit 32 home runs while driving in 100 runs. Hamilton also led the league in on-base percentage at .411 and slugging percentage at .633.

With Hamilton’s numbers last season, it turned out to be arguable his best season in his once highly-publicized career.

In addition to being named AL MVP, Hamilton was elected to be a starter for the AL All-Star team for the third consecutive season, he won his second Silver Slugger Award, and he was named The Sporting News Player of the Year. He was also the MVP for the American League Championship Series before advancing to the World Series for the first time in club history.

Now that Hamilton is 29 years of age, he is beginning to be in the news for all the right reasons, unlike the early days of his career.

As most now know his story, Hamilton was once the most highly-touted prospects coming out of high school. Not knowing whether he would be drafted as a pitcher, because he could throw the ball upwards of 95 miles per hour, or an outfielder because he could hit the ball further than anyone in recent memory, Hamilton was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 Major League Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Once 2001 rolled around Hamilton had become a drug addict and was eventually suspended from by Major League Baseball multiple times.

Having played in only 15 minor league games between the years of 2004-2006, Hamilton landed in Cincinnati for the 2007 season and finally made his major league debut on April 2.

After a solid rookie season that was cut short by injuries, Hamilton was traded to the Texas Rangers. Once in Texas he made his presence known by becoming one of baseball’s most feared hitters like everybody always thought he would be.

Now, after having three consecutive seasons in which he was at or near the top three major batting categories (batting average, home runs, and runs batted in), we refer to him as three-time all-star and AL MVP Josh Hamilton.

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