1:01pm: The Rangers agreed to sign Josh Hamilton to a two-year, $24MM deal, avoiding arbitration. Hamilton had filed for $12MM in arbitration this year, while the Rangers countered with $8.7MM.
Hamilton earned $3.25MM last year in his first season as an arbitration eligible player. He won the AL MVP, a Silver Slugger and the batting title in 2010, though he battled a variety of injuries along the way. Hamilton missed most of September with a ribcage injury, but finished the season with a sparkling .359/.411/.633 line and 32 homers.
The contract buys out the Moye/Sanderson client's final two seasons of arbitration eligibility, but does not delay his free agency. Like Joey Votto, last year's NL MVP, Hamilton signed an extension that covers only his remaining arbitration years.