Rangers discussing six-year extension with Ian Kinsler

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From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Rangers are talking about a six-year contract extension with second baseman Ian Kinsler. But an agreement is not closer because the two sides are differing on what the annual value of the contract should be. Rosenthal explains:

The Rangers, sources say, are willing to give Kinsler a salary higher than Dan Uggla’s record average for a second baseman, $12.4 million. But the team probably does not want to go far above that figure, which is where [Robinson] Cano enters the equation.

The Yankees exercised Cano’s $14 million option for this season and hold a $15 million option on him for 2013. His next deal, whether achieved in an extension or through free agency, figures to be at a much higher number.

Kinsler is locked in at $7 million this season and carries a $10 million club option for 2013. If the two sides can find a common ground before Opening Day, that option year would simply be engulfed by the new six-year extension. But Kinsler and his agent may want to assume the risk and sit tight until next winter, when the Yankees are pushed a little closer toward making a decision about Cano’s future.

Kinsler, 29, batted .255/.355/.477 with 32 home runs, 77 RBI and 30 stolen bases last year for Texas.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.