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.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.