We've been hearing for a while that the Josh Hamilton market hasn't developed like Hamilton had hoped, and that the Rangers were the most aggressive team on him.
Now there is this from Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: #Rangers, Hamilton making progress. Deal, if reached, likely would be 4 yrs. But still possible another team could beat TEX offer.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2012
Four years is probably about as far as Texas is going to be comfortable going with Hamilton on a guaranteed deal. Hamilton turns 32 in May, and that would take him through his age 35 season...and even then, there's a good chance the last year or two of the deal could be ugly.
However. Given the Rangers' situation, given where this team is, given the team's needs, I'd be hard-pressed to squawk about a 4 year deal at $90-95 million, which is about where I'd expect it to end up, probably with an option year or two tacked on.
Earlier in 2012, I said that 3 years, $60 million was about all I was comfortable doing with Josh. I still think that it is questionable whether a 4 year, $90-95 million deal is going to net you surplus value. However, I do think that it puts you in a much better position to compete in 2013-14 than you would be by passing on Hamilton and getting, say, Adam LaRoche.
And I'm coming around more and more to the idea that no one else is going to go significantly higher than 4 years, $90-95 million for Hamilton in this market.