Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Josh Hamilton would like extension
By Jean-Jacques Taylor
GARLAND, Texas -- Josh Hamilton, entering the final year of a two-year, $24 million deal he signed before last season, said he'd like to get a deal done with the Texas Rangers on a contract extension before the season starts.
Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, said he wouldn't be upset if he doesn't reach an agreement before the season starts and that he's not looking to leave Texas -- as long as he receives a fair offer from the club.
"Obviously I love it here," Hamilton said Tuesday before speaking to a group of kids at a free hitting exhibition. "It always comes down to being treated fairly. I've been this way since I signed out of high school. Treat me fair and don't come in with no ridiculously low stuff."
Hamilton, who would become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season, has hit 99 homers and 378 RBIs in four seasons with the Rangers. The 30-year-old has won an MVP award and led the Rangers to consecutive World Series appearances.
Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said Tuesday he wasn't sure what it might take to get Hamilton signed to a long-term contract, but that it's "an ongoing process."
"I don't have a feel for what that is right now," Ryan said from the winter meetings in Dallas. "Josh is a very unique player that has a big impact on any organization that he'd be in. We're certainly proud to have him and he's been a big part of our winning effort here.
"If we didn't have him, it would be a big hole in our ballclub. You just don't replace a Josh Hamilton very easily."
Hamilton, who said he's recovering nicely from offseason hernia surgery and expects to be ready for spring training, has averaged just 124 games per season while with the Rangers.
"It's 90 percent better than it was compared to the playoffs, so I've been doing my rehab and doing everything I can so I can come to spring training strong," Hamilton said.
"I've been doing pool exercises, a lot of stability stuff with my core. I've been doing the normal stuff -- the Jane Fonda stuff. You can imagine what those look like.
"The day after surgery I walked two miles. I did that every day the first week, and then on the seventh day I started running. Everything that was detached got reattached and I'm good to go. If we were playing right now, I'd probably be playing."
Jean-Jacques Taylor is a columnist for ESPNDallas.com. Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com contributed to this report.