Josh Hamilton and the Rangers are talking two-year contract

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T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Josh Hamilton and the Rangers “are making progress towards settling his contract situation so that they will not have to go to an arbitration hearing” and “have discussed a two-year contract.”

Hamilton is arbitration eligible both this season and next, so a two-year deal would simply give the Rangers some cost certainty without impacting his ability to become a free agent following the 2012 season.

Hamilton requested a $12 million salary following his MVP-winning season, while the Rangers submitted a figure of $8.7 million. The two sides have a hearing scheduled for February 14 if they can’t come to an agreement before then.

Braves sign David Hernandez

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Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.

Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.