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Josh Hamilton officially a free agent

Josh Hamilton, along with seven other Texas Rangers players, are either already free agents or will be in the next few days.

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Texas Rangers will see a lot of change this offseason, and Josh Hamilton becoming a free agent could be at the center of that. As noted by Lone Star Ball on Monday morning, Hamilton is among a large group of Rangers players who may be on different teams come next season if the cards shake out correctly.

...At this very moment, Monday at 8:00 a.m., Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Mike Adams, Ryan Dempster, Mark Lowe, and Roy Oswalt are officially free agents. Soon, Koji Uehara will exercise the clause in his contract to join them. After that, Scott Feldman's option will be declined and he'll be a free agent as well. All that change we've been anticipating? Here it comes.

Hamilton is clearly the top player on that list, but there are plenty of other names on there that could pose intriguing stories through the offseason. Napoli was another one of the big hitters that helped lead the Rangers to the postseason for yet another year, and a few of the pitchers on that list are big names as well.

The open market may be tested by Hamilton, but it won't be surprising if the Rangers aggressively try to keep him -- MVP's don't come by very often, even if a contract extension would come with a hefty raise in salary. There will certainly be other teams interested though — only Zack Greinke might match the level of hype that Hamilton will carry in free agency through 2013.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.