Young, the 2005 American League batting champion and the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 All-Star Game, batted .314 with 14 home runs and 103 RBIs for the Rangers last year. It's the fourth straight season that he has batted over .300 and collected more than 200 hits, and he set a club record with 52 doubles."Michael is a great player, but when you make a commitment for seven years in sports, you've got to like the man," Hicks said. "Michael is a special person. We want Michael to be the face of our organization. We want people when they bring their children to the ballpark to point at Michael and say, that's what a baseball player is supposed to be." Young said he understands the responsibility that comes with that role. "I'm ready for it," Young said. "Believe me, they are going to get everything I have for the next seven years." The Rangers would also like Mark Teixeira to be a part of their future beyond 2008, but that is probably not going to happen anytime soon. Teixeira is signed for $9 million this season. He is eligible for arbitration in 2008 and, after that, he will have six years of big-league service time and can become a free agent. The two sides have not had anything in the way of substantive talks of late. "I'm not thinking about that," Teixeira said. "I'm very happy for Michael and I'm excited about playing with him the next two years. Then we will see what happens." Rangers general manager Jon Daniels insisted that this is not a situation where the club could afford one or the other. "They are mutually exclusive," Daniels said. "They are not related whether we sign Mark or not. If anything, for Mark, this bodes well because he knows that one of the best players in the game will be playing along side him. But at no point was this either one or the other." Instead, this was about getting one of Texas' best players signed for an extended period of time to not only perform at a high level on the field, but to be a leader in the clubhouse and a focal point in the community. That's part of the Rangers' efforts to build badly needed stability. "We want to make sure we have a great player signed for an extended period," Hicks said. "One thing I've learned in 13 years with the [NHL's Dallas] Stars and 10 years with the Rangers is this organization needs stability. We haven't had that. Part of it has been my fault; part of it has been others. But we're going to have stability and try to build the best team we can. "Now there's no doubt that Michael will be a part of that."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.