Rangers won’t make pre-free agency offer to Josh Hamilton

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This afternoon the Rangers held their season-ending press conference with reporters and among the interesting tidbits passed along by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com is that they won’t make Josh Hamilton an offer before he hits the open market.

Obviously it’s unlikely that Hamilton would have passed up free agency anyway and Nolan Ryan did not rule out re-signing Hamilton, but at this point very few people seem to think the former MVP will be back in Texas.

Hamilton figures to be one of the most interesting free agents in a long time, because based strictly on his age and production he’d normally be in line for a huge long-term deal. And yet would anyone really be shocked if he failed to crack $100 million?

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.