Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Friday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's 'The Ben and Skin Show' that he plans to have more conversations with Josh Hamilton's representatives before full-squad workouts begin in Surprise, Ariz., next month.
Hamilton, who will be a free agent after the 2012 season, said this offseason that he doesn't want to discuss his contract after spring training begins, opting to concentrate on getting ready for the season. (That's something Albert Pujols did as well with the Cardinals last year). The club agrees with that plan.
"We both agree we don’t want it to be a distraction," said Daniels, who just returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic. "So unless we're 90 percent down the line, we both agree, 'Hey let’s do it right up until we report and then let’s put it aside.'" Hopefully, we’ll have something positive to report."
Daniels talked briefly about how complicated a deal like this can be with Hamilton's injury history and age. Only once has Hamilton played a full season since making his Major League debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. But when he is on the field, few players have a greater impact on the game (as his 2010 AL MVP shows).
"We’d like to keep Josh here for an extended period of time," Daniels said. "It’s got to be a deal that works for both sides. He’s got a unique set of circumstances because of how his career has played out and he’ll reach free agency at a different age than Prince [Fielder] or even Elvis [Andrus]. Josh will look at this, rightfully so, as the one time he hits free agentcy and how does he factor that in with his family and the different opportunities he has. We're talking to them about this. We love Josh, love what he’s about and we want to keep him here and we’ll continue talking to him and hope we figure something out."
Hamilton, 30, is slated to make $13.75 million this season as part of the two-year deal he signed last offseason that took care of both of his remaining arbitration years.