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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Arbitration: Two more down, three to go

By Richard Durrett

The Rangers reached deals with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz on Tuesday. They had already signed up David Murphy and Mark Lowe. So that leaves them with three more arbitration-eligible players to get signed: Frank Francisco, Josh Hamilton and Darren O'Day.

The club is likely to exchange figures with those three players today. That will allow both sides to see how far the gulf is between them. It's usually a good way to find the middle ground.

The Rangers haven't gone to an arbitration hearing since Lee Stevens in 2000. Stay tuned, but this is when things start moving on these types of cases. There's no doubt that $3.25 million was a huge bargain in 2010 for the AL MVP. A big raise is coming. The question is how big a raise. Both sides should get a little closer to the answer this week.