According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, the Rangers and AL MVP Josh Hamilton are still negotiating a deal for the 2011 season in hopes of avoiding salary arbitration.
"We have a very good relationship with Mike Moye," Levine said. "I would characterize our communication as very open and strong. Needless to say, we may have slightly different opinions, but we're working through things and with each call we're making progress. We haven't announced a deal yet, so we still have work to do. But I think both sides have talked about things and made progress."While it's possible the two sides are still working on negotiating a long-term deal, it seems much more likely that the two sides will agree to a one year deal. When the two sides exchanged arbitration figures on January 18th, the two sides were $3.3M apart. Though it seems logical that both parties would meet somewhere in the middle at $10.35M, that doesn't always happen. After the season Hamilton had last year (.447 wOBA, 8.0 fWAR, AL MVP, ALCS MVP), he looks to be in a great position to win his arbitration case should it get to that point. If I were his agent, I'd be advising him to sit tight.