Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels reiterated his club's interest in retaining Josh Hamilton and said the lines of communication remain open. He added that the market for the free agent slugger is "somewhat status quo" at the moment.
"Mike (Moye, Hamilton's agent) and I have maintained dialogue and I think the way that we have chosen to proceed here is that we're not necessarily driving the timetable," Daniels said Monday. "There may come a time when we need to change that, but so far it's been fine."
Daniels didn't want to talk specifics about the Hamilton negotiations, a long-standing club policy. He did say that his organization "would welcome Josh Hamilton back."
"I think he wants to be here and I think those are two big elements, but like any deal or situation there are a number of other factors involved," Daniels said. "We've just chosen not to comment on it. But we've been consistent all along: We'd like to have Josh back."
Perhaps the Winter Meetings, which begin next week in Nashville, Tenn., will get thing moving along at a faster clip.
Hamilton enters free agency after five seasons with the Rangers. He had 43 homers, 128 RBIs and hit .285 in 148 games in 2012. During his tenure in Texas, Hamilton won the 2010 AL MVP and was the 2010 ALCS MVP. He has played all but 90 games of his career with the Rangers, totaling 142 homers and 506 RBIs in those five seasons.
But Hamilton has also dealt with a host of injuries, including five games missed down the stretch as part of a September road trip because he was having vision troubles that he said were caused by consuming too much caffeine. He was out nearly all of the final month of 2010 with cracked ribs and spent nearly six weeks on the disabled list in early 2011 with a hairline fracture in a bone in his upper arm. He has played at least 134 games just twice in his five-plus seasons, making it difficult to predict how many years the 31-year-old might get on the open market.
The Rangers made the decision to let Hamilton see what kind of offers he could get rather than make him one during the season or before he hit free agency. Texas did make a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer, which Hamilton declined. He made $13.75 million in 2012. If Hamilton signs with another team, the Rangers would get a supplemental first round draft pick as compensation.