Long-term contract coming soon for Josh Hamilton?

ARLINGTON, Texas -- At some point this offseason, the Rangers will contact agent Alan Moye to discuss a long-term contract for the American League MVP.

Josh Hamilton has no intention to get involved in the negotiations.

“That’s why I have an agent,” Hamilton said during his Tuesday press conference. “I stay out of it. I get paid to play the game. I don’t get paid to think about getting paid.”

Hamilton said he learned a valuable lesson while blowing his $4 million signing bonus after Tampa Bay made him the No. 1 overall pick in the draft: “I can’t find my joy in material things.”

Having said that, Hamilton wants to be paid fair market value. How much is that for an amazing physical specimen who played a major role in winning the franchise’s first AL pennant? The debate on the financial value of Hamilton, who is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility, is complicated by his age (29), unique off-field issues and durability concerns.

But he’s still arguably the best player in baseball. It’s likely to take a deal in the high eight figures to lock up Hamilton for the next five years or so.

GM Jon Daniels said the Rangers have had internal discussions about a long-term deal with Hamilton. They’ll probably have conversations with his agent in the coming months. When the talks get serious, they’ll let Hamilton know.