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April 04, 2012

Money, not years, holding up Ian Kinsler extension

The Rangers and second baseman Ian Kinlser are in agreement on the length of a contract extension, and now have until Friday morning to find common ground on the financial terms of what would be a six-year contract.

Kinsler said on Tuesday that he does not want to negotiate after the season begins Friday. His agent, Jay Franklin, is in town to help get the process to the finish line. Rangers brass is expected to meet today before speaking again to Franklin.

The Rangers hold an option on Kinsler for 2013 that would pay him $10 million, but they might want to extend the contract before the Yankees and Robinson Cano agree on an extension. New York very likely could set an unrealistic comp with a huge deal, so the deal Chase Utley signed in 2007  (seven years, $85 million) and the one Dan Uggla signed in 2011 (five years, $62 million) might be a better gauge for Kinsler.

The Rangers know that Kinsler, their leadoff hitter and two-time 30-30 man, wants to retire with them, and he has said that he would be open to changing positions in the future. The Rangers, though, might not need him to switch.

Their top two prospects are Leury Garcia, who will open at Double A, and Rougned Odor, who turned 18 on Feb. 3 and will start at Low A Hickory. There has been some speculation that shorstop Jurickson Profar could be switched to second.

-- Jeff Wilson

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