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Rangers make qualifying offer to Josh Hamilton

Rangers make qualifying offer to Josh Hamilton

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) The Texas Rangers made a $13.3 million qualifying offer Friday to Josh Hamilton, ensuring them draft-pick compensation if the slugger signs with another team.

It was an expected move by the Rangers, who are sure Hamilton won't accept the one-year offer. That doesn't change the offseason plan for both, with the 2010 AL MVP exploring free agency and likely to discuss the possibility of a new deal with Texas.

The Rangers didn't make qualifying offers to All-Star catcher Mike Napoli or five other free agents.

General manager Jon Daniels said there is mutual interest in Napoli returning for a third season with Texas. Talks will continue with his agents, but the Rangers weren't willing to commit $13.3 million to Napoli, who made $9.4 million this year when he hit .227 with 24 homers and 56 RBIs in 108 games.

``We'd like to have Nap back, but at the predetermined figure we weren't comfortable there,'' Daniels said. ``We're going to continue to talk and the door's very much open.''

The fixed $13.3 million is the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players in baseball by average annual value.

Texas didn't make offers to right-handers Mike Adams, Scott Feldman, Mark Lowe, Yoshinori Tateyama or Koji Uehara. The team can still negotiate with those players, but would receive no compensation if they left for other teams.

Hamilton hit a career-high 43 homers and drove in 128 runs this season, his fifth in Texas. He batted .285 despite a two-month slump in the middle of the season, and is one of the top free agents on the market.

Hamilton and other players who got qualifying offers have until next Friday to accept them. Assuming that Hamilton rejects it, the Rangers will receive an extra selection immediately following the first round of next June's amateur draft if he signs somewhere else.

``If Josh were to accept that - there should be no chance of that realistically if you're him, it's actually a cut of what he made,'' Daniels said. ``It's an easy decision to offer. It doesn't preclude us from continuing to talk.''

The Rangers and Hamilton put contract negotiations on hold earlier this year with the expectation that the outfielder would test the free-agent market.

During a conference call with reporters, Daniels said the Rangers would be focused on catching and the bullpen during the offseason. He then said the Rangers planned to put Alexi Ogando back in the starting rotation next spring.

Ogando was a 13-game winner and an All-Star in 2011 after making the transition from the bullpen to the rotation at the end of spring training that season because of injuries to others.

When the Rangers signed Yu Darvish and closer Joe Nathan last winter, and decided to move Neftali Feliz to the rotation, they moved Ogando back into a setup role and he had a 3.27 ERA in 58 appearances. Now, he will get another chance as a starter.

``He earned that a year ago and then some of the moves we made with Joe (Nathan) and how that affected Neftali and with Darvish, Alexi agreed to go back to the bullpen,'' Daniels said. ``I thought he handled that extremely well, team first. This guy's an All-Star starter in essentially his rookie debut in that role. He's a strike thrower and he wants to do that.''

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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