Well, obviously the verdict has been in for quite some time on the Hamilton deal. I guess the only defense left for the Reds is that if you're going to roll the dice you have to be able to live with snake eyes coming up at times. We had a good team in 2010 and a very good team last season. Adding Hamilton to the lineup in CF would have improved those campaigns significantly. I know we lacked a leadoff hitter, but you can always fit in a bat like Hamilton's no matter who's around him. If he'd been around it might have made the search for a LF easier, needing a table-setter instead of a mid-lineup run producer. Of course Dusty would have had nightmares with consecutive LH bats in the lineup, even if it was Hamilton and Votto swinging them. He probably would have led off Hamilton and kept Phillips hitting cleanup.
Funny how the deal didn't look that bad after one year, but then Volquez turned into a flash in the pan.
Looking forward, if the deal had not been made I doubt we keep Hamilton for 2013 so that should quash "what if" questions going into the future.
Everyone is aware of past struggles that nearly ended his career and made a former overall #1 pick available to the Reds from a Rule 5 pick up. Rumors were that when he was in Cincinnati he was handled with kid gloves and they pretty much had to babysit him in fear of a relapse. He had the talent that could have been a foundation to build a contender upon, but there were still a lot of questions in his future.
He's been a great hitter for the Rangers the last five years, but he's no stranger to the DL. Even if he stays clean I wouldn't be surprised to see his past come back to haunt him and the drugs he took earlier affect his longevity later. He's in his 30's now and there's no way a small market team can risk $133M on him like the Angels did.