Rangers make qualifying offer to Josh Hamilton, but not Mike Napoli

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As expected the Rangers made a qualifying offer to free agent Josh Hamilton, ensuring they’ll receive a first-round draft pick as compensation if he signs elsewhere as a free agent.

They did not, however, make a qualifying offer to Mike Napoli, so the free agent catcher can walk without the Rangers getting anything in return. He’s also free to re-sign with Texas.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement Type A and Type B free agents are no more, so instead if teams want to get compensation for a departing free agent they must make him a qualifying offer that amounts to a one-year deal for the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players.

For next season that is $13.3 million, which the Rangers deemed too much for Napoli in case he accepted. Hamilton has until next Friday to accept or decline, but he’ll obviously turn it down in search of a much bigger multi-year deal.

We’ll have a full round-up of all the qualifying offer decisions once the 5:00 p.m. ET deadline arrives.

Roberto Osuna to be the Astros new closer

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When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.

This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.

Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.