Rangers, Hamilton Talk Two-Year Deal

5:43pm: GM Jon Daniels told reporters that the club has had productive talks with Hamilton and his agent, and the two sides are "moving in [the] direction of a deal" according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and Anthony Andro of The Star Telegram (Twitter links).

4:52pmJosh Hamilton and the Rangers have discussed a two-year deal, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Talks between the Rangers and the reigning AL MVP have been positive, though their submissions for Hamilton's 2011 salary were far apart. Texas offered $8.7MM, while Hamilton countered with a $12MM bid.

That gap means Hamilton's arbitration case is arguably the most interesting one of the year. The Rangers are open to extending Hamilton and if the sides discuss a longer term deal, It's conceivable that Hamilton could demand a nine-figure contract.

Hamilton earned $3.25MM last year in his first season as an arbitration eligible player; a two-year deal would buy out his remaining seasons of arbitration eligibility, but woludn't delay his free agency. Earlier in the offseason, NL MVP Joey Votto signed a three-year extension that covers his arbitration years without delaying his free agency.

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