Ryan: Josh Hamilton contract during season unlikely

HOUSTON -- Texas Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan said Friday afternoon he expects the club won't provide slugger Josh Hamilton with a new contract during the season. The Rangers traditionally don't negotiate new contracts with players during the year.

However, second baseman Ian Kinsler signed a new contract during the first week of the season, only because talks were serious during the late stages of spring training.

That hasn't occurred with Hamilton.

"We haven't carried on the negotiations during the season because we don't feel like it's fair to Josh," said Ryan, who pointed out general manager Jon Daniels spoke briefly with Hamilton's agent during spring training. "And we don't want to do something that will be a distraction."

Hamilton is off to a fantastic start, one that Ryan says he hasn't seen in years.

Heading into the weekend, Hamilton leads the majors in home runs (18), RBIs (45) and slugging percentage (.826). He also leads the AL in batting average (.399) and is second in the AL in hits (55).

"It's hard to predict what's going to happen with Josh," Ryan said prior to Game 1 of a three-game series with the Houston Astros. "Things will have to play out."

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