Ryan no gut feel on Hamilton future with Rangers

Ryan no gut feel on Hamilton future with Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan is waiting like so many others to see what the market will be for free agent slugger Josh Hamilton

Ryan said Wednesday that because of that uncertainty he doesn't have a gut feeling on whether Hamilton will return to Texas next season.

``You don't know who the players in the market are going to be, and what that market is going to be. I think people will have a better feel after this week,'' Ryan said, referring to this GM meetings that are taking place in California. ``I think people will have a better feel for what peoples' level of interest is.''

The biggest uncertainty appears how long of a contract Hamilton could get, not how much money the 2010 AL MVP could make each season.

``I think there's this perception that we don't want Josh back. That's not accurate. I'd love to have Josh back. It's got to work for both sides,'' general manager Jon Daniels said at the meetings in Indian Wells. ``Whether he ends up here or not, I feel like some need to defend him right now that everyone's kind of throwing out the negatives with him. The reality is like this guy's been a stud for this franchise for the last five years and done some things that have enabled us to reach levels we hadn't previously reached.''

Without giving any numbers himself, Ryan is sure everybody could probably make a ``reasonable guess'' on the per-annual salary Hamilton will get. The 31-year-old slugger hit a career-high 43 home runs with 128 RBIs in 148 games this year. He has hit .304 with 161 homers in his six major league seasons, the last five with the Rangers.

``Are you looking at a Fielder deal, as far as nine years. Are you looking at a (10-year) Pujols deal, Or are you looking at seven years,'' Ryan said. ``That's the question that probably isn't answered yet, that people probably don't have a feel for, the length of the contract.''

Unique in Hamilton's case is his troubled past, and drug and alcohol addictions that nearly derailed the No. 1 pick of the 1999 draft from ever getting to the major leagues. He has also dealt with a variety of injuries, though he is one of baseball's best players when healthy.

The Rangers made a $13.3 million qualifying offer last week to Hamilton, a move to ensure draft-pick compensation if he signs with another team. They know Hamilton will make more than that. The protective move didn't change the team's approach with the outfielder.

Asked if the Rangers yet had parameters to consider for a possible deal, Ryan responded, ``Obviously, I think everybody in their mind has what their tolerance is.'' Again, he didn't elaborate.

During the season, Hamilton and the team put on hold negotiations about a new deal. They agreed then that Hamilton and his agent would get a feel for what the market is and then get back to the Rangers.

Ryan said that hasn't changed, but that the team can't be waiting until January for a resolution.

``I don't think you can just sit around and say we have to wait and see what happens with Josh. I think we'll get a feel here shortly where we think that might be going,'' Ryan said. ``But we also have to be out there seeing what opportunities are out there, whether there's opportunities for the club. ... If you just sit back and wait you might miss an opportunity that you might regret, or feel like you could have done something.''

Ryan and new Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan were at the ballpark as part of an outreach event sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to encourage junior high students from the Arlington area to follow foundations of healthy living.

Magadan, hired last week and the only change to manager Ron Washington's staff, was the last hitter Ryan ever faced in the majors.

That was in the first inning at Seattle on Sept. 23, 1993, when Ryan sustained a torn ligament in his right elbow while throwing a pitch. Ryan walked off the mound, and Texas reliever Steve Dreyer issued a walk that was charged to Ryan.

``I lie to people and say he was scared to face me,'' Magadan said.

When Magadan was hired after six seasons as Boston's hitting coach, Ryan had no clue about their connection. They talked about it Wednesday.

``I told him, my elbow was killing me in the bullpen that day and I was thinking if I could just get through the game. ... And it finally popped,'' Ryan said. ``I faced him a lot and I'm really thrilled that we have him because I really think he's a nice addition to our coaching staff, and think he's going to bring a very positive message.''


AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in Indian Wells, Calif., contributed to this report.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars


3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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