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Rangers Sign Josh Hamilton: Two Years, $24 Million – SportsUntapped.com
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Added February 11th, 2011 by Chalk

Rangers Sign Josh Hamilton: Two Years, $24 Million
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The Texas Rangers and outfielder Josh Hamilton avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $24 million contract. Hamilton would also have been eligible for arbitration next year, but will be able to become a free agent at the end of the deal. Still, given Hamilton’s history of drug abuse and occasional relapses, it’s a little surprising he was able to get a multi-year deal.

While Hamilton won the American League MVP award last season, and helped Cliff Lee carry the Rangers to their first World Series appearance, just last month he was mysteriously hospitalized for pneumonia. Hamilton began his big league career in Cincinnati in 2007, and has made the All-Star team in each of his first three seasons with the Texas Rangers. Another concern: he’s yet to play over 100 games in back-to-back seasons.

There’s obviously some risk involved, but an average annual salary of $12 million over two years isn’t a tremendous risk for the Rangers, especially if it keeps Hamilton happy and receptive to signing an extension later on. That’s what Rangers general manager Jon Daniels says the plan is: “It’s a two-year deal, but we’re hoping it’s indicative of a much longer-term relationship and the first of at least two multi-year deals that Josh Hamilton and the Rangers enter into.”

The structure of the deal gives Hamilton a $3 million signing bonus up front, then pays him $7.25 million this year and $13.75 million in 2012. Hamilton says the deal was pretty easy to get ironed out. “Both sides wanted to work really hard to make this happen,” said the slugger. “When people come together to figure things out and they respect each other, things happen. Things got resolved kind of easily.”

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