The Rangers played nice with Josh Hamilton today by signing him to a 2-year deal worth $24 million. Heading toward arbitration, Hamilton had filed for $12MM and the Rangers had offered $8.7MM which would have been a nice raise from the $3.25MM he made in 2010.
Instead of going to a tough arbitration hearing, the Rangers played it smart and gave Hamilton the 2-year, $24 million deal that buys out his final two years of arbitration but doesn't delay his free agency. Hamilton won the AL MVP with 32 home runs and a .359/.411/.633 line while missing the last month of the 2010 season. According to Fangraphs, that season was worth $32.2 million.
By avoiding the arbitration hearing, the Rangers don't have to bring up Hamilton's past injuries or demons and Hamilton doesn't have to compare himself to Mickey Mantle for his 2010 season. There really aren't many comps for him. So it seems like a win-win situation. The Rangers also trade off minimizing the risk of Hamilton getting hurt for the insane salary he could command in two seasons.
It looks like a nice peaceful settlement that I'm sure Hamilton will think pleasantly of when free agency rolls around. Whereas, I'm pretty sure after the Angels beat Jered Weaver in arbitration, they left a flaming bag of dog poo on Scott Boras' porch as an encore.