Ruben Amaro is known for his big winter signings, and it seems he made the first move in trying to acquire the star of this year’s free agent class, outfielder Josh Hamilton. 94.1 FM reported that Amaro offered a three-year deal to Hamilton, worth approximately $80 million ($25 million per year with incentives).
Hamilton was previously asking for five-seven years, but his age—he’s already 31—and his injury record have few teams willing to offer him long-term deals. Even so, he will be one of the highest-paid players in the league thanks to his incredible numbers last season. His strikeout rate went up, but he also hit 43 home runs and drove in 128 runs to go a long with a .285 batting average.
The Phillies have been looking for a power bat to add to their lineup with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley aging, and the first piece was infielder Michael Young who will fill their hole in either the No. 3 or No. 5 spot. If they were to sign Hamilton, he would likely protect cleanup hitter Ryan Howard. The addition of his bat would make the Phillies one of the more potent offenses in the league; they would be be able to run out the following lineup on a daily basis: CF Ben Revere, SS Jimmy Rollins, 3B Michael Young, 1B Ryan Howard, LF Josh Hamilton, 2B Chase Utley, C Carlos Ruiz, RF Darin Ruf/Domonic Brown.
That lineup would have the perfect mix of speed and power, making the Phillies one of the top teams in the NL East with their already strong rotation.