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January 23, 2012

Monday Night Rangers News

Team president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels, along with several members of the front office and co-majority owner Ray Davis, are in the Dominican Republic touring the Rangers' facility there, and, as it turns out, working out some players. One was 18-year-old left-handed Cuban defector Gerardo Concepcion.

Despite all the empty offices at Rangers Ballpark, Monday turned out to be a newsy day. It started with the signings of Mitch Stetter and Sean White to minor-league deals with invitations to spring training, as well as the announcement of if-necessary arbitration hearings -- Feb. 9 for Elvis Andrus, Feb. 15 for Mike Napoli, and Feb. 17 for Nelson Cruz.

The day came to a close with Josh Hamilton saying that he knows of nothing new in talks toward a contract extension that would keep him from becoming a free agent after the season, and also a source confirming that the Rangers have talked to multiple teams about trading Koji Uehara. The righty has six teams that he can refuse to be traded to as part of a limited no-trade clause.

Hamilton reiterated that he will cut off talks for a new deal once he gets to spring training, and he's planning to report early. Assistant general manager Thad Levine, who didn't go to the Dominican, said that Hamilton is a priority the rest of the off-season and that conversations with agent Mike Moye have been ongoing.

“It’s important to have a clear mind and focus on the team,” Hamilton said before a Rangers Caravan stop at the Academy Sports and Outdoors in North Fort Worth. “Honestly, I don’t think about it. We’ve already told the Rangers if it doesn’t happen before the season, they’re the first ones we go to after the season."

Hamilton also said that he expects the Rangers will talk this week to candidates to be his accountability partner.

-- Jeff Wilson

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