We want to preface all that follows with this: we wish Josh Hamilton were still a Ranger.
What stings most is not that Hamilton is gone. We had prepared ourselves for that. What stings is that he is now with the Los Angeles California Angels of Anaheim California. Texas' most hated division rival. That's what stings.
In our opinion, the Rangers never had any intention of resigning Hamilton unless it was to an organization-friendly deal. But given the chance (which Josh never gave them, probably not his fault) the Texas brass would have matched an offer by the Angels. Just our opinion.
While Hamilton was an integral part of the Rangers' three straight post-season appearances, he was not the whole team. Hamilton has the ability to carry an entire team for a span when he is hot. When he is cold, he also has the ability to suck the life out of a team. While the good outweighs the bad, the loss is not insurmountable.
This team still has Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, and Nelson Cruz. Throw David Murphy, Mitch Moreland into the mix. Then the Rangers have young players like Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar, just to name two. The cupboard is far from bare. Texas also has what most consider to be the best minor league system in the league. So there.
The losses of Hamilton, Michael Young and Mike Napoli hurt. But it's not the end of the world (that comes 12/21/12). There are still free agents and trade possibilities available this winter. It's not over yet. Then comes the chance for some of those prospects to bloom during spring training. Let's also not overlook the possibility of in-season trades.
While the past few days have not been ideal from a Rangers' perspective, do not panic. This whole Major League Baseball thing is a marathon.