Monday, April 13, 2015

Would Josh Hamilton Be Worth the Trouble?

It seems more and more likely that Josh Hamilton will never play a game again for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as long as the team has their say so. Hamilton relapsed over the winter using drugs and has recently found out that the league would not punish him under their drug prevention program but the Angels still want nothing to do with the aging outfielder. Should the Yankees pull off what has become a Yankees special type trade and give Los Angeles absolutely nothing but salary relief in exchange for possibly a huge upgrade in their outfield in the Bronx?

First things first is the contract New York would be acquiring. Hamilton is currently under contract for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons in his age 34 (in May, 2015), 35 and 36 seasons. Hamilton would earn $23 million this season and $30 million in each of the next two seasons making him a very expensive and very costly acquisition for any team who acquires him. Whichever team acquires him would also be on the hook for a $2 million donation annually to his charity and possibly as much as another million in incentives including winning the MVP award, each Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award and winning the World Series MVP. The more you look at the finances for Hamilton the more you want to look away from the left handed hitting outfielder but like any case there are also pro's to making a potential trade.

Hamilton still averages 32 home runs a season and 112 RBI per season despite only hitting 10 home runs in 89 games in 2014 with the Angels. Hamilton has not had an MVP vote in his two seasons in Anaheim but he did garner votes in four of the last five votes before including winning the MVP Award in 2010. Hamilton loves hitting in New York and Yankee Stadium, especially the old Stadium as we all saw at the Home Run Derby there in 2008, and could add a dynamic to the team that none us have seen in quite a few years.

So how do the Yankees and the Angels make this work? There are two options for the Yankees assuming that New York actually wants to make the trade and take on the risk. One of those options are simply trading away a couple of Low-A prospects and eating most or all of the remaining contract on the deal while this is obviously contingent on Hamilton waiving his no trade clause in the deal. Speaking on no trade clauses you have to wonder what the interest in Carlos Beltran would be for the Angels and what Beltran's interest in heading back to the West Coast would be. If the Yankees could trade Beltran straight up, FYI Beltran also has no trade protection, for Hamilton you have to think that deals works well for both sides. New York would presumably get an offensive and defensive boost while getting a little younger and the Angels would get something in Beltran for the nothing they planned on having with Hamilton. With this trade Los Angeles may even be willing to throw in some money to off set the $30 million annually in salary in 2016 and 2017.

I honestly don't believe either of these trade scenarios are very realistic as Hal Steinbrenner continues to attempt to get under the luxury tax after the 2016 and 2017 seasons but I do believe the trade makes the team better. I guess that's why I am a fan with a blog and Hal is the owner of the team, he knows more than I. Stay tuned to see what happens, if anything, because you know we'll have it here first.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)