Tuesday Sundry: 7/11/12

The Josh Hamilton Free Agent Thing: During interviews at the All-Star Game, Josh Hamilton made a curious statement as to re-signing with the Rangers. First, Hamilton said the Rangers will get first shot at him in the off-season. Second, that his camp and the Rangers camp had mutually agreed to put off contract discussions until season’s end. Then, however, Hamilton added this:  “[Texas] had a shot earlier this year and didn’t really take it”.

Josh, Josh, Josh. This is revisionist history at its best. Lest you forget, every report out of Arlington in the off-season said discussions were ongoing, that progress was being made, even that an agreement was very close. Something happened to change all that. Now what was it, Josh? Think real hard. Could it be that maybe, just maybe, it had a little something to do with that relapse you had at a Dallas bar in the off-season? Texas didn’t take the shot because YOU took YOUR eye off the target. I love what you’ve done for the Rangers, Josh. Just don’t insult my, or every other fan’s, intelligence by putting the failure of a long-term deal squarely on management. You had a lot to do with that, my friend.

The Cole Hamels/Zach Greinke Trade Speculation Thing: It’s July, so the annual trade deadline speculation has begun. Two of the biggest names out there are free-agents-to-be Cole Hamels and Zach Greinke. And of course, the Rangers are featured prominently in trade speculation. Will the Rangers get Hamels or will the Rangers get Greinke? Here’s my prediction: The Rangers will get neither, and I doubt any other team will either.

Why? Because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Used to be, a team could send prospects to another team and get a two-month rental on a free agent to be, then get a compensatory draft pick when said player signs a big free agent contract with someone else. Those rules apply no more. Now, the team trading the player gets the draft pick. So you tell me. Even in a pennant race, why would it make sense for a team like the Rangers to part with one or two of its best prospects, thus depleting their minor league system, for a player who’s going to leave in two months, leaving them with nothing?

The only way I see a team picking up one of those major players is if it’s a trade and sign deal, or if the team doing the acquiring sends a much smaller package to the other team, knowing that team is also getting a draft pick in the process. They not only get a player like Hamels, they’ve also agreed to a long-term deal to keep them off the free agent market. I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more deals at the trade deadline for players with one or two more years of control than you will of the prime players getting ready to hit free agency.