Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 1/27/12
With Prince Fielder off the market it would seem like Jon Daniels and the Rangers front office would have the majority of their attention focused on getting a long-term deal done with Josh Hamilton. On Friday, Daniels, the Rangers general manager, said there have been talks with Hamilton's representatives and those conversations will continue with the hopes of something being finalized by the start of the regular season. "We both agree that we don't want it to be a distraction," Daniels said Friday on 103.3's The Ben and Skin Show KESN-FM. "Unless we're 90 percent down the line, we both agree, 'Hey let's do it right up until we report and after that let's put it aside.' ... Hopefully, by that point we will have had something positive to report. But if we don't, we've agreed that it's all positive, we love him, he loves the Rangers and we'll move forward." Hamilton, who is in the final year of a two-year, 24 million contract, will become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season. When asked if a Hamilton deal is certain to get done because the organization missed out on Fielder, Daniels didn't take the bait, saying he doesn't look at it like that. "I look at it like we would like to get a deal with Josh, Prince or no Prince," he said. "We would like to keep Josh here for an extended period of time. It's got to be a deal that works for both sides. He's got kind of a unique set of circumstances because of how his career has played out, and he's going to reach free agency at a different age than where Prince will or even a guy like Elvis Andrus will because he got to the big leagues so young. "Josh, I think rightfully so, is going to look at this as maybe the one time he really hits free agency and how does he factor that in with his family and the different opportunities that he has. We're talking to them about this, the Rangers organization as a group. We love Josh. We love what he's about, and we want to keep him here, and we're going to continue talking to him and hopefully we'll figure something out." After avoiding arbitration with the two-year deal last February, the 2010 American League MVP said: "We want to be a part of this organization, not only for the next couple of years, but for a long time to come." -- Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
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