Josh Hamilton may have taken his last at bat as a member of the Texas Rangers.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Rangers are unlikely to offer Hamilton a long-term contract this winter, and instead will let Hamilton negotiate with other teams before making the 2010 American League MVP an offer.
Hamilton said during spring training that he doesn't feel like he owes the Rangers, and therefore is unlikely to accept a hometown discount when he hits free agency. Now that the Rangers are unwilling to offer Hamilton a long-term contract, it seems like the only way Hamilton will remain with the Rangers is if he accepts a significant hometown discount.
Hamilton will be entering his age 32 season in 2013, and will likely seek a contract of at least five years.
After the 2010 season, the Washington Nationals gave Jayson Werth a seven-year, $126 million dollar contract. In the three years leading up to his free agency, Werth posted WAR totals of 5.2, 5.0 and 5.3. Hamilton, meanwhile, will be headed into free agency with WAR totals of 8.4, 4.1 and 4.4 in his last three years.
Though Hamilton offers a unique risk that Werth doesn't, there's no question that Hamilton's ceiling is that of an MVP, and Werth's is merely a very good player. Hamilton will likely seek a contract, at the least, with a higher average annual value than Werth's, but he may be hard pressed to find a suitor to give him seven years.
Hamitlon has said that he will give the Rangers the chance to match any offer, but with Texas' front office reluctant to offer a long-term deal, it seems likely the Hamilton's days in Arlington are behind him.