If All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton was waiting for the Texas Rangers to set a market for the free agent slugger, it might be time to turn to Plan B. The Rangers aren't likely to meet the reported asking price of six or seven years at $20 million to $25 million per season. Hamilton, 31, is considered a prime free agent but his age and history of injuries, overcame chemical dependency but has twice admitted to succumbing to alcohol in recent seasons. The Rangers hired a full-time employee to monitor Hamilton. He hit .285 with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs in 2012, when he played in 148 games, his highest total since joining the Rangers via trade from the Cincinnati Reds in 2008. USA Today reported the Rangers might not be willing to offer a contract longer than three years. "I don't think you can sit around and say, 'We have to wait and see what happens with Josh,'" CEO Nolan Ryan said Wednesday. "We'll al get a feel here shortly where we think that might be going, but also we have to be out there seeing what opportunities are out there, whether there's opportunities to improve the club." Ryan said the team couldn't afford to sit in a holding pattern and miss other opportunities, but he denied reports that the Rangers were deep in talks to acquire outfielder Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Shortstop Elvis Andrus was one of the players mentioned as a potential chip the Rangers could use to acquire a top-tier outfielder to replace Hamilton in the No. 3 spot in the order and fill his position in the field. The Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, are lower-payroll teams, have been linked to Hamilton in recent days.
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