The playoffs are ongoing, but the off-season has already begun for all but eight teams. Josh Hamilton's year is over as well, as the Rangers were eliminated from the postseason in the Wild Card round, and he's likely to be one of the top free agents on the market this off-season. Jon Heyman reported on Tuesday that the Rangers would wait and see if Hamilton's price tag -- in both years and dollars -- would fall to a level they would be comfortable with. How does a team without a starting center fielder, who lost the division for the first time in three years, just let Hamilton walk? Options, and Hamilton's own performance.

The latter first. Hamilton looked primed for an easy Most Valuable Player award back in May, as he had hit 21 homers through 47 games. Triple that game and homer total, and you're talking about one of the five or 10 greatest homer seasons ever, on pace to beat out Roger Maris' AL mark of 61. Instead, Hamilton didn't just fall back to his previous rates, but slipped to a level unknown to him in the majors. From June 1 onward, Hamilton would hit another 22 homers, but overall bat just .245/.322/.487. It wasn't a luck thing, either: his batting average on balls in play was .297, and he struck out nearly 30 percent of the time -- Hamilton, before 2012, punched out just 18 percent of the time. That last bit has far more to do with the numbers than a BABIP that was lower than normal.