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February 26, 2012

Josh Hamilton: Rangers first in line if he reaches free agency

Josh Hamilton doesn’t think people understood the full context of his comment on Friday when he said: “I don’t feel like I owe the Rangers.”

Hamilton made it clear on Sunday that he enjoys playing for the Texas Rangers and is hopeful to reach a contract extension with them. If he ends up hitting the free agent market after this season, the Rangers will be the first team he talks to.

“If I owe anything, it’s that,” Hamilton said. “My loyalty is here. This is where I’ve been. This is where my family has been. So obviously I would love to stay here more than anywhere else. First of all, they get a chance to do what they’ve got to do to keep me here.”

Hamilton said he doesn’t expect to reach a deal in spring training, although he isn’t opposed to signing a contract during the season. Hamilton isn’t focused on it, though, saying he’ll leave it up to his agent, Mike Moye.

“Just call me when it’s worth something talking about,” Hamilton said. “I’ll leave it up to him, but it won’t be something I’m going to focus and concentrate on.”

-- Drew Davison

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