From the vault of This Comes as Absolutely No Surprise, the Rangers are anticipating that Josh Hamilton will turn down their qualifying offer of one-year, $13.3 million later Friday after the GM meetings wrap up in Indian Wells, Calif.
The figure, determined through the collective bargaining agreement, would actually be a slight pay cut from 2012 for Hamilton, who is seeking a multi-year deal in his first chance at free agency. The Rangers made Hamilton a qualifying offer to ensure that they would receive draft-pick compensation should he not re-sign with them.
One report last week said that his starting asking price is seven years and $175 million, and a USA Today report Thursday night said that the Rangers will only go as far as three years.
General manager Jon Daniels said on Thursday that he is basically "in the dark" as far as what progress Hamilton's agent, Mike Moye, has made so far this off-season. The two sides agreed during the season to let Hamilton test the market and then come back to the Rangers with the first chance to match the best offer.
Baltimore, Seattle and Milwaukee are believed to be Hamilton's primary suitors so far.
The Rangers have targeted three outfielders, two of them free agents, who could help start to replace Hamilton's production. Arizona right fielder Justin Upton is the non-free agent, and Nick Swisher and Torii Hunter are also being considered.
Swisher has a relationship with manager Ron Washington from their days together in Oakland, and the switch-hitter can also play first base. Hunter is a Prosper resident, and geography could be attractive to him.
With all three being right fielders, Nelson Cruz could be moved to left field.
-- Jeff Wilson