Josh Hamilton Rumors: Rangers Are Taking Right Track with MVP's Free Agency

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 02:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers stands on the field before their game against the Oakland Athletics  at Coliseum on October 2, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers are patiently and shrewdly waiting for 2010 A.L. MVP Josh Hamilton to test the free-agency market before extending him a contract offer.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that, according to people familiar with the Rangers' thinking, that the "Rangers people see little point in making an offer they know he won't accept now."

In order for the Rangers to sign Hamilton now, they would have to overpay for him. There would be no other reason for the slugger to pass on free agency otherwise. 

Hamilton, 31, is coming off a season where he hit .285 with a .931 OPS, 128 RBI and a career-high 43 home runs.

While Hamilton slumped to the end of this past season, he has proven over the last three years to be one of the game's most reliable forces.

This kind of production is going to draw plenty of interest on the open market, but the Rangers can't allow that to force their hand. Texas has a blueprint and they are sticking to it. 

As Heyman alludes to, the Rangers have been averse to giving out long lucrative contracts, which is certainly the kind of contract Hamilton rightfully covets and will likely get from another team. 

The Rangers don't need to look any further on the disadvantages of handing out a huge long-term contract to an aging star than their division rival, the Los Angeles Angels

Albert Pujols signed a record deal last offseason, and Pujols, now 32, posted career lows in almost every statistic. That slide is only going to continue as he ages. 

Contracts like that can cripple a team. The Rangers are wise to avoid tying themselves to a long deal on a player that will inevitably begin a slide that comes with aging. 

They can use that money on another star, or several quality players, while maintaining an excellent roster and being in a far better position for the future.