Josh Hamilton Expects To Hit Free Agency

SUNDAY: USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets that Hamilton expects to file for free agency this coming offseason, but says he'll give the Rangers the first crack at signing him. Hamilton would headline a strong free agent market for outfielders that could also include Shane Victorino, Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton, Lance Berkman, and Ichiro Suzuki.

FRIDAY: Josh Hamilton is mere months away from hitting free agency, and it doesn't sound as though he feels compelled to offer the Rangers a hometown discount any time soon. The outfielder suggested today that he intends on earning market value on his next contract, according to's T.R. Sullivan.

“The Rangers have done a lot of me," Hamilton said. "I have a question. Have I done a lot for the Rangers? I think I have given them everything I’ve got. When it comes down to is, people have to understand this is a business. I love Texas, I love the fans, I love the organization and I love my teammates. But I’m not going to sit here and say I owe the Rangers. I don’t feel I owe the Rangers.”

Extension talks are currently on hold between the Rangers and Hamilton, who had an alcohol-related relapse earlier in the offseason. The 30-year-old will earn $13.75MM in 2012 as part of the two-year deal he signed last winter. Hamilton played in 121 games last year, posting a .298/.346/.536 line with 25 home runs in 538 plate appearances.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.

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