02/06/12 8:55 PM EST
Arbitration hearings likely in Rangers' future
Agreements not yet reached with Andrus, Napoli, Cruz
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Contract negotiations with all three are ongoing."We're making progress," Levine said. "We're still having conversations, but until we have an actual agreement, we can't classify it as being a done deal." The Rangers, whose last arbitration hearing was with Lee Stevens in 2000, are still willing to talk after exchanging numbers with players on Jan. 17. Some clubs have made it a policy to end negotiations with arbitration-eligible players once numbers are exchanged. The Rangers were $3.3 million apart with Hamilton last winter just a few days before his hearing was scheduled, but they reached an agreement on a two-year contract that leaves Hamilton eligible for free agency after this season. The Rangers had been talking with Hamilton about a long-term contract extension, but those discussions were shut down after his alcohol relapse last week. The next step for Hamilton is to be evaluated this week by doctors for Major League Baseball and the Players Association in New York. Hamilton had set a deadline for the beginning of Spring Training, but it is unlikely that negotiations will resume by then. Pitchers and catchers report to camp on Feb. 22, but Hamilton was planning to arrive on Feb. 17.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.