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Rangers, Hamilton working on extension

Tue., Feb. 8, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas – A.L. MVP Josh Hamilton says contract talks with the Texas Rangers are “moving in the right direction” and that a two-year deal is possible.

While Hamilton and the A.L. champions have to settle his 2011 contract to avoid a salary arbitration hearing next week, a two-year deal would also cover Hamilton’s other remaining arbitration season in 2012.

“The talks, they’ve obviously gotten better,” Hamilton said Monday. “Like I’ve said before, it’s not just about me and what I’m going to get, but it’s about the guys coming after me and doing the same things for those guys that the guys in front of me did. The biggest thing is just being fair.”

Hamilton said the team recently approached his agent, Mike Moye, about the possibility of a deal to cover his last two arbitration-eligible seasons. Hamilton’s first chance to become a free agent won’t come until after the 2012 season.

General manager Jon Daniels described recent conversations with Moye as “productive, positive.”

“It’d be a little premature for me to tell you that we’ll definitely get a deal done, but I feel like it’s moving in that direction,” Daniels said. “We’d surely prefer to avoid the arbitration process. I know Josh and his family and Mike would as well. That’s kind of been the backdrop, and in the spirit of cooperation, we’re trying to get something done.”

If Hamilton and the Rangers can’t at least settle on a 2011 contract, a salary arbitration hearing is scheduled next Monday in Phoenix. Hamilton has asked for $12 million, $3.3 million more than Texas offered.

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