I know, its crazy. You don't need to post your arguments about how the Astros won't be competitive for at least 3 years, so it doesn't make sense to sign a big dollar free agent. You also don't need to post all the risks with Hamilton, i.e. health, relapse, etc. I'm familiar with those as well. Sign him to a huge 5 year deal and the Astros and the fans will be well rewarded.
Here's my thinking. First, it will generate a lot of interest in the Astros, and interest equals revenue. Second, it hurts Texas or anyone else who would have signed him. Third, with 30-40 million to play with, the Astros can still do this and pony up the cash for a helpful starter and reliever. My picks: Jake Peavy and Matt Adams. Finally, the very reason that many would use to argue against signing Hamilton is the top reason to do it. The Astros won't be competitive for 3-5 years. With Hamilton, that process is sped up. With Hamilton, You suddenly have star power that is lacking, even with all the prospects the Astros have added. You solve the outfield dilemma that is still a gaping hole. And if it fails, his contract comes off the books right about the time the Astros have to really start paying their homegrown talent. Think about what having the lineup protection of a masher like Hamilton will do for the development of young sluggers like Jonathon Singleton. Instead of being an opposing pitcher's top focus, the young big bat will see better pitches because Hamilton is lurking on deck.
I will say that I know nothing about how signing big free agent contracts affects draft picks. If signing Hamilton, or anybody else, jeopardizes that #1 pick, then forget about it. That being said, I also believe adding an expensive pitcher like Peavy makes a lot of sense. The Astros need an ace, and they need a mentor. And again, if it fails then he is off the books by the time the Astros really start paying their own guys. Signing a top reliever off a contending team to become our closer makes a lot of sense too. It shores up a shaky bullpen, becomes a prime trade piece, and weakens an opponent. I would trade Norris, as I think he doesn't have a long term future here. And as for that #1 pick? Two words: Sean Manaea.
So imagine this lineup by the end of next year:
Of: JD Martinez
Tell me that wouldn't be fun?