The Rangers max offer to Josh Hamilton will be three years

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In other words, the Rangers are really not that interested in signing Josh Hamilton. Bob Nightengale reports:

The Texas Rangers don’t plan to offer prized free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton more than a three-year contract, according to a high-ranking team official, which likely will lead to the Rangers severing ties with the 2010 American League MVP.

Nightengale says that negotiations have not even begun.  If Rangers people are leaking that, then, you know they have no interest in making Hamilton a serious offer.

I don’t think Hamilton will get one of those 6-7 year deals, let alone that $175 million he reportedly wants. Or at least he shouldn’t. But you have to figure there are a lot of teams who would go four or five. Or some kind of deal with x years guaranteed and a bunch of options/incentives to account for the uncertainty about his health and age and stuff.

But three years? Can’t really see it.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves