OAKLAND, CA - MAY 5: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers walks back to the dugout after striking out in the 8th inning against the Oakland Athletics during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 5, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Unable to make any progress in contract negotiations, the Texas Rangers and impending free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton have tabled extension discussions until the offseason, sources have told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The Rangers have yet to make a contract offer this year for the free-agent-to-be star, quite possibly because they view the gap as being too wide to bridge.
Hamilton was said this spring by a source to be seeking to be paid like an "elite'' player, which presumably means a deal along the lines of the 9- and 10-year, $200-million-plus deals received by Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Joey Votto at about that time.
While Hamilton reportedly expects an "elite" deal, two general managers told Heyman that they do not expect the Rangers to offer the outfielder more than five years. The 31-year-old Hamilton has put up stellar numbers for Texas, earning an MVP and hitting .306/.363/.544 in five seasons, but the Rangers tend to balk at any and all deals that guarantee more than five years.
While Heyman's sources believe most teams will stop at five years with Hamilton, they speculate that a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers could offer Hamilton the "elite", nine or ten-year deal he is seeking.
Both general manager Jon Daniels and Michael Moye, Hamilton's agent, have declined to comment on the ongoing discussions.
Will a team offer Hamilton the "elite" deal he wants?