Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said that the reports saying that the club and free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton are close to a multi-year deal are not accurate, and Daniels has yet to meet with Hamilton or agent Mike Moye at these winter meetings.
Daniels expects to meet with the Hamilton camp soon, perhaps as soon as tonight. But nothing has changed since May, when the sides agreed that Hamilton would test the market and come back to the Rangers with an idea of where things stand. Hamilton has maintained all along that the Rangers would get the first chance to beat the best offer.
That conversation hasn't taken place, said Daniels.
"I would expect that we would get together very soon," he said. "It's really where it's been all along. Josh is going through his process."
Co-chairman Ray Davis, a Dallas billionaire and one of the two principal owners, is at the Gaylord Opryland with minority owner Neil Leibman. Team president and CEO Nolan Ryan is also in the war room, so the big guns would be available for a meeting with Hamilton and/or Moye.
Some within the organization are more optimistic than they have been that Hamilton will re-sign. There is a belief that the market for Hamilton hasn't developed as he had hoped, and the Rangers are in a position to top a five-year offer from another club with a shorter term and a high average annual salary.
Manny Ramirez has the all-time record annual salary for an outfielder at $22.5 million. The Rangers could comfortably topple that figure over a three- or four-year span with a vesting option.
-- Jeff Wilson