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Josh Hamilton Sets Deadline For Contract Extension

The Rangers have been making a conscious effort to lock up their core players, which includes outfielder Josh Hamilton, and have discussed a long-term deal with Hamilton's representatives. However, Hamilton told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News "his deadline for executing a contract extension that would keep him from exploring free agency is the start of spring training."

Hamilton, who turns 31 in May, followed up a MVP winning season by hitting .298/.346/.536 with 25 homers in 538 plate appearances last season. Before hitting free agency at season's end, the 30-year-old is due to earn $13.75 million in 2012.

We know of Hamilton's detailed history off the field, but he's been quite injury prone these past few seasons as well, which very well could be a cause for concern in contract negotiations. Even with a new TV deal that will bring in a significant amount of income, the Rangers will need to decide their budget and other payroll commitments going forward.