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Josh Hamilton joining the Phillies: The pros and cons

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According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies have “quietly checked in” on free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton.  In some ways, the news is and isn’t surprising. As of right now, you wouldn’t exactly describe the Phillies payroll situation as “flexible.” However, Ruben Amaro is the king of the blockbuster deal/mega free agent signing, so he may have been doing his due diligence to see if there was some possibility of a deal and nothing more.
 
Either way, it peaked our interest. There are obviously some pros to adding a player of Hamilton’s caliber to your lineup. In this case however, there might be more cons.Josh Hamilton photo: mlbreports.com

See for yourself.

 
Pros:

-Anytime you add Josh Hamilton to your team, you automatically make it better- at least for a few years. In six big league seasons, Hamilton’s been a five-time All-Star and finished in the top 25 in MVP voting in three of those years. Those numbers alone speak for itself.

-Citizens Bank Park is conducive to the power-hitting Hamilton.


Cons:

-Hamilton’s past off-the-field issues may be a cause for concern for any team expressing interest in him. The spotlight in Texas is not as big as it is in Philly, he’s had several lapses over the last few seasons, and if he has anymore of them, chances are it will be anything but underpublicized. If Hamilton thought getting booed by Rangers fans was rough during the team’s Wild Card game loss, what’s going to happen if he fails to live up to expectations in Philadelphia, or his issues become a major team issue?  Either way, whoever signs Hamilton better have strict provisions in the contract.

-When he produces, he’s one of the best in the game. Only problem is, Hamilton is likely going to command a deal in the realm of $175 million. The Phillies have several players already making over $20 million a year. Moreover, the team already has left-handed sluggers Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on the payroll. In the past, the trio of Utley, Howard and Raul Ibanez was successful. In saying that, it can become a nightmare late in the game having three consecutive lefties when you have to face left-handed specialists out of the bullpen.

-The Rangers, who know Hamilton better than anybody, are only offering him three years. Makes you wonder......

-Despite posting all-star caliber numbers, Hamilton is injury prone and and has been known to flake out every now and then. Who knows? Maybe having blue eyes really does make it harder to see the ball during the day.......

In my opinion, Hamilton isn’t a good fit for several reasons, and I don’t see the Phillies going for him.


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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photo: mlbreports.com