As expected, Josh Hamilton declined the Texas Rangers' one-year qualifying offer of $13.3 million for the 2013 season on Friday afternoon.
Hamilton was one of nine players to receive a qualifying offer, and all nine of them declined.
Hamilton is seeking a multi-year deal in his first chance at free agency, and the Rangers made the offer to ensure draft pick compensation should Hamilton sign elsewhere. The $13.3 million salary, determined through the collective bargaining agreement, would have been a pay cut from 2012 for Hamilton as he made $13.75 million last season.
Hamilton is the top position player on the market. The 2010 American League MVP is coming off a season in which he batted .285 with a career-high 43 home runs and 103 runs scored, as well as 128 RBIs. He has spent the past five seasons with the Rangers, making the All-Star team every year.
But Hamilton struggled down the stretch last season, memorably dropping a fly ball in Oakland during the last regular season series. He finished the second half with a .259 batting average compared to a .308 average in the first half.
A report last week said Hamilton's asking price is seven years and $175 million, and a USA Today report on Thursday said that the Rangers will only go as far as three years.