ARLINGTON -- Sammy Sosa is back on the free agent market. Sosa, who hit .252, led the team in home runs with 21 home runs while collecting 92 RBIs, officially filed for free agency on Tuesday. The Rangers have expressed some interest in bringing Sosa back in 2008, and general manager Jon Daniels conveyed those sentiments to agent Adam Katz at the end of the season. But the Rangers will likely let Sosa explore the free agent market before they resume negotiations. Sosa has made it clear that he would also like to return to the Rangers.
Infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. also filed for free agency. Rangers outfielder Brad Wilkerson and pitcher Jamey Wright are also eligible for free agency but have not yet filed. Daniels is already having discussions with Wright's agent, Casey Close, about a contract for next year. Wright was 4-5 with a 3.62 ERA for the Rangers in 2007, splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen, however, the Rangers would likely bring him back as a bullpen candidate in '08. None of the Rangers free agents are ranked high enough to merit compensation. The Elias Rankings have come out and Rangers shortstop Michael Young was ranked No. 1 among all American League second basemen, third basemen and shortstops, based on his statistics in 2006-07. He was ranked higher than Derek Jeter, Miguel Tejada and Alex Rodriguez, among others. The only player at any of those three positions ranked higher than Young was Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. Briefly: The Rangers have tentatively scheduled an interview on Thursday with former Oakland coach Brad Fischer for their third-base coaching opening. The Rangers are looking for a replacement for Don Wakamatsu, and former Rangers manager Jerry Narron is another possible candidate. ... Major League Baseball has suspended Minor League pitcher Luther Hackman for 50 games for a performance-enhancing drug violation. Hackman finished the season with the Rangers Triple-A team in Oklahoma, but is no longer with the organization.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.