Rangers offer extension to Hamilton
Outfielder says he hopes to work on better deal as negotiations begin
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have presented an offer on a contract extension to outfielder Josh Hamilton and his agent Michael Moye.Exact details of the offer are unavailable but the two sides are believed to be looking at a deal in the 4-6 year range with possible options. The initial offer did not get an immediate positive reception.
"My agent and I were disappointed with their offer," Hamilton said. "The negotiations have begun."Hamilton has two years of service time and is signed for this season at $555,000. A long-term contract would cover Hamilton's three seasons of arbitration eligibility but the Rangers have made it clear they would also like to buy out at least 1-3 years of free agency as well. "Obviously we love the player," Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. "We want him to be a Ranger for a long time. We need to let the process work. If not, we can still enjoy him for four more years. "The way his agent looks at it and the way we look at it, both sides have the uncertainty of arbitration. But from our side, if we remove the risk of arbitration, we'd want to take out at least a couple of free agent years too." Hamilton, an American League All-Star who hit .304 with 32 home runs and 130 RBIs last year, can be a free agent after the 2012 season. The Rangers have a history of signing young players to long-term extensions that cover arbitration-eligible years and 1-2 years of free agency. The Rangers did that with Michael Young and Hank Blalock early in their careers and Ian Kinsler last season. "That's been our M.O. in the past, to tie up who we think are going to be our key players," club president Nolan Ryan said. "That makes it easier to project where we'll be and what we're dealing with. We'd like to do it [with Hamilton] and they have an interest. Hopefully it will work out."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.