The Rangers aren’t prepared to make Josh Hamilton a long-term contract offer when he hits free agency this offseason, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Instead, the Rangers will let the five-time All-Star listen to other teams’ offers before determining their next step.
GM Jon Daniels confirmed today that the Rangers won't make Hamilton an offer during their exclusive negotiating period, Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com reports (Twitter links). Hamilton could still re-sign with Texas, Daniels said.
Rangers people don’t see the point in offering a contract Hamilton would surely decline, Heyman writes. The 31-year-old has said he’ll give the Rangers the chance to match any offer he gets, but those offers might be beyond Texas’ spending limit. While Hamilton appears to be seeking a contract that pays him like an elite player, the Rangers aren’t comfortable offering a long-term deal worth ‘huge money.’
The Rangers would like to keep Hamilton at their price and contract length. However, Heyman’s sources have a hard time seeing the Rangers going much beyond four years. The Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers aren’t expected to pursue Hamilton, who hasn’t had contract talks with the Rangers for months. The sides aren’t likely to talk until after Hamilton hits free agency and gets a sense of his options.
Just 27% of 14,000 respondents to a recent MLBTR poll expect Hamilton to re-sign with the Rangers. He's coming off of a season in which he hit 43 home runs and posted a .285/.354/.577 batting line in 636 plate appearances.