The Rangers are finally ready to give Jon Daniels a contract extension

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The Rangers have had a pretty hectic offseason.

After losing to the Giants in the World Series, they found themselves in almost instant contract talks with Cliff Lee right up until mid-December. Once Lee signed with the Phillies, the Rangers countered with the additions of Brandon Webb and Adrian Beltre.

Naturally, there hasn’t been much time for general manager Jon Daniels to talk about that long-anticipated contract extension, but now that the team’s roster has taken shape, Rangers president Nolan Ryan told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that he expects something to get done soon.

“I would expect that to be done before spring training,” Ryan said. “If he hadn’t been on vacation for the last 10 days, we probably would have been much further along on that. It’s hard for me to predict what timeline we’re dealing with, but it’s going to be a priority these next couple of weeks.”

Daniels, who was named the 2010 Executive of the Year by Baseball America in December, has one year left on his current deal. While there’s optimism that something will get done soon, the Rangers will also be talking with reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton, who filed for $12 million in arbitration earlier this week.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.