Josh Hamilton may be a free agent with plenty of eventual offers to choose from this offseason, but only one landing spot, Texas, promises to provide him with the platform to be a superstar.
Hamilton's strengths are best suited for Arlington, with a team that plays exciting, offensive baseball.
Mike (Moye, Hamilton's agent) and I have maintained dialogue and I think the way that we have chosen to proceed here is that we're not necessarily driving the timetable. There may come a time when we need to change that, but so far it's been fine.
Texas is smart to wait and see what sort of offers Hamilton receives this winter, but there's no doubt that the Rangers are the team most capable of setting Hamilton up for success.
He'll turn 32 in May, and if he's back in Texas, he won't have to get acclimated to a new city, teammates or system. He has played 647 of his 737 career regular-season games with Texas, as well as played the best and most important baseball of his career there.
Sure, injuries have taken their toll during his time in Texas, but they have yet to render him ineffective over the course of a season.
Two years ago, Hamilton won AL MVP honors with the Rangers, batting .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI in 133 games. To suggest that the potential isn't there for Hamilton to repeat that success in 2013 or sometime further down the road would be absurd.
Last season, the Rangers were the top run-scoring team in the MLB, and ranked Top Five in batting average (.273), on-base percentage (.334) and slugging percentage (.446).
Hamilton's abilities to hit the long ball (43 homers in 2012), bring in runs (128 RBI in 2012) and get on base (.354 on-base percentage in 2012) make him the ideal center fielder for Texas, at least during the Ron Washington era.
Until Hamilton becomes too pricey for Texas, the Rangers are best suited to hold on to their star bat and capitalize on his strengths in a way no other team Major League team can.
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