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Josh Hamilton is one of those players in the baseball world that is very polarizing, both negatively and positively.
After missing some seasons dealing with rehab, the outfielder has really been a force for the Texas Rangers and his lone year back in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds. His 162 game average over these six seasons has been .304/35/122 and has really only had one down in year, in 2009, when he missed time with an injury.
The Boston Red Sox could make a run at him with all the extra money they have to use, but it would be foolish to flush it down the Hamilton-toilet. What the Sox need to do is just focus on small moves to improve the chemistry of the team.
Some bad signings have happened to the Boston Red Sox over the past several seasons. To list a few: Daisuke Matsuzaka, J.D. Drew, John Lackey and Carl Crawford. All these players went through injuries for most of their Sox careers.
Hamilton would want to sign at least five years if the Sox wanted him to make only $18 million per season. That is just too long for someone like Hamilton when he could be oft-injured or even relapse during that time period. The Sox should avoid him for this reason alone.
Yes, he may have put all the issues behind him, but relapses could happen at any time. The Red Sox do not need a player to be missing time, especially one that costs almost $20 million per season.
Hamilton has had issues with substance abuse, but he has made an effort to keep those off the field. That could be good for a team that wants to have an iffy superstar, but the Red Sox need a player who can tough out against the media for years to come without having anything pop up.
Yes, Hamilton has made some stellar plays in center field, but he has has had some costly errors just for making boneheaded plays.
A sound defensive scheme in the outfield would make the Red Sox better in 2013 and Hamilton would not be a sound mix going forward for five or seven years.