Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Twins_vs_rangers_3f86
Many things are known about Josh Hamilton -- far more details of the man's personal life have been made public information than just about any other athlete. We know he's a recovering alcoholic, we know he's devoutly religious, we know he's injury prone, we know he's trying to quit caffeine and we know, when he's on the field, he's one of the best, most talented players in the game. However, all these knowns only lead up to one big unknown -- what to expect from the enigmatic outfielder going forward. On Tuesday the word came out via ESPN Dallas that the Texas Rangers will allow Hamilton to at least test the free-agent market, and won't offer him a contract during the period between the end of the World Series and the point six days thereafter when free agents can sign with other teams. "If you've gone this far, you're going to test the market," said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. "The realities are when a guy goes out and tests the market and it's this close, you're not going to pre-empt it. I think he's going to go out and test the market and see what's out there and get back to us. "No door has been closed. We're also very realistic about when a star player hits free agency at this point and the history of them returning to their original club. So we have to prepare both ways and prepare the club for the possibility that he's not back." Although Daniels' comments seem perfectly reasonable and realistic given the fact that Hamilton and the Rangers didn't work out a contract extension during the regular season despite mutually agreeing to extend contract talks into the official campaign, it's hard not to read them as a sign that Texas is completely prepared to go in a different direction. And so it may be that Hamilton's -- who seemed the picture-percet face of the franchise under the big skies of Arlington -- only chance to return to the Rangers may be a tepid market for the star -- which is a distinct possibility. Like Hamilton's future production, what to expect for the 32-year-old this winter is a tricky proposition to preidct. It's very easy to see Hamilton stepping into an enormous Prince Fielder-like contract this offseason, but it's also well within the realm of possibility that the bottom drops out of the market for him due to all the extenuating circumstances affecting his life. There are few players in the game who possess the raw ability that Hamilton does, a true five-tool player with a proven track record of utilizing that talent. However, there have been few players in history who's health -- both mental and physical -- has seemed to tenuous from year-to-year, month-to-month or even at-bat-to-at-bat. Of course, it isn't saying anything terribly new to point out that Hamilton's ever-present predilection to addiction makes him an inherent risk, or that his extensive injury history is another huge mitigating factor. But these are the reasons that both make it so difficult to guess what kind of offers he receives this winter, and make the Rangers' decision to let the market decide how much Hamilton's worth such a keen decision. In short, with Hamilton's talent, if he received a huge offer that begins to range into six or eight years, then that is likely somewhere the Rangers wouldn't want to go, even with their vast economic resources. In the luxury tax era, even teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are wary of taking on long-term, high-money deals because of how it hamstrings their budgets. But there's also the very realistic scenario that -- with teams like New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Los Angeles of Anaheim very unlikely to join the bidding on Hamilton -- there simply isn't the market for him many have speculated. In that case, the Rangers would run the risk of bidding against themselves for a player that carries a ton of baggage. So either way the Rangers win. If Hamilton's offseason market turns into a high-end bidding war, then the Rangers can happily watch someone else take on a contract which is highly unlikely to yield equal value. However, if the bottom drops out of the market, the Rangers have a strong chance to retain Hamilton for compensation much, much closer to his real value in his mid to late 30s. But, like everything else that's happened in Hamilton's career, it's all up in the air.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended by Dallas PD

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA rookies who disappointed in 2014-15 season

Report: Urban Meyer reassured Belichick about Hernandez

Cuban: Harden is MVP, Rockets are not very good

J.R. Smith: 'I don’t think anyone can beat us'

SCOTUS asked to overturn baseball's antitrust exemption

Is Chip Kelly expecting too much from Josh Huff?

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

There are only two contenders ... in the West?

Woman stripped of marathon win, didn't actually run in race

Matt Barnes' son betrays him for Steph Curry

WATCH: Padres fan saved from falling by alert cameraman

Kemp hosts Seattle party over OKC missing playoffs

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Kris Bryant and floor versus ceiling

Top 10 storylines of the NBA Playoffs

A-Rod being taken to court over unpaid legal fees

Could Wilson really be a two-sport star?

Five players who must step up in the NBA playoffs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.