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Ryan: Hamilton Talks Preliminary



    Through 10 games this season, there aren't many players in the majors that can boast a better start than the one Texas Rangers centerfielder Josh Hamilton is off to.

    Hamilton, playing in several day games so far which previously gave him fits, is hitting .390 with four home runs and six RBIs and is second in the American League with 16 hits.

    On Monday's edition of Galloway and Company on ESPN Radio, Rangers owner and president Nolan Ryan said recent talks between the club and Josh Hamilton's agent were "very preliminary."

    That's no surprise considering Hamilton made demands before his public alcohol relapse that the Rangers either sign him to an extension before the regular season started or he would become a free agent and not negotiate during the season. Of course, the relapse changed things as the two parties have at least started the discussion process.

    But don't hold your breath.

    “It’s getting a feel for what their expectations are, where they feel like this should go and then it falls back on us discussing what we think is in our best interest and realistic," Ryan told Galloway. "It’s very preliminary. There aren’t strong negotiations where something’s going to get done in a short period of time.”

    Hamilton, along with Rangers catcher Mike Napoli, is set to be a free agent after this season ends. He's about to be 31 years old and has obviously shown signs of wear and tear during his tenure with the Rangers. There's no question that, when healthy, Hamilton is one of the top players in all of baseball and worth every penny of a $20 million/year type contract.

    The question is how many years will Hamilton want, and how many will the Rangers be willing to give? It'd be hard to see the Rangers offering up much more than five years to the fragile superstar. If you're going to believe one thing about the Rangers' end of this, believe that whatever happens will be in the best interest of the future of the club.

    “If you work from emotions you can make mistakes and do things that maybe weren’t in your best interest,” Ryan said. “We have to continue visiting with them and visiting among ourselves and try to come to a decision or see if there is a compromise somewhere and try to get something worked out. We certainly aren’t even in that neighborhood yet.”