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Agreed American League MVP Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers agreed Thursday to a $24 million, two-year contract that avoids an arbitration hearing next week. He gets a $3 million signing bonus, a $7.25 million salary this year and $13.75 million in 2012. Hamilton can become a free agent after the 2012 World Series. He hit a major league-leading .359 last season with 32 homers and 100 RBIs despite missing most of the final month of the regular season with broken ribs.

Injured The Denver Broncos’ deep wide-receiver corps has taken another hit with word that last year’s top pick, Demaryius Thomas, tore an Achilles tendon during an offseason workout in Atlanta. Thomas, the first receiver selected in last year’s draft, was working out at his offseason home when he was injured, according to a Denver TV report. The extent isn’t yet known, but if it’s a full tear, his entire 2011 season would be in jeopardy. Last week, slot receiver Eddie Royal had hip surgery that could sideline him six months.

Traded The Ottawa Senators traded forward Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators for a first-round draft pick and a future conditional pick. Nashville is sending its 2011 first-rounder and a conditional pick in 2012 – which would be a third-rounder if the Predators win a playoff series this year. The pick will escalate if the team wins two or more postseason series. Fisher, 30, has 24 points this season and had been tied for the Senators’ lead in goals with 14. Fisher is the husband of country music star Carrie Underwood.

Accepted Volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, who led the gold medal-winning U.S. men’s team in Beijing and is the current coach of the women’s national team, has accepted the job as head coach of the women’s team at Minnesota. The timing of a transition has not been set, and it is unclear if he will remain with the U.S. women through the 2012 Olympics in London.

Died Former Texas A&M and Mississippi State football coach Emory Bellard has died at a care facility in Georgetown, Texas. He was 83. Cathy Capps, director of the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association, said Bellard had Lou Gehrig’s disease. Bellard is credited with developing the three- running back formation that came to be known as the “wishbone” when he was an assistant at Texas.


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