The Rangers will look to give Josh Hamilton a contract extension


Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports that the Rangers plan to speak with AL MVP Josh Hamilton’s agent this winter about a long-term contract extension.

Like his NL  MVP counterpart Joey Votto, Hamilton is arbitration eligible. He made $3.25 million in 2010, and would be due a big raise anyway. Though it’s increasingly common, there isn’t a massive amount of history of MVP winners going though arbitration, and the possibility exists Hamilton’s salary would go up pretty quickly. It makes sense the Rangers would want to avoid that and get some cost certainty — even if it’s high-cost — with respect to their best player.  The biggest question is health, of course, but when healthy he’s among the best players in baseball.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”