Texas open to in-season contract talks with Yu

Texas open to in-season contract talks with Yu

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are not facing a deadline at the end of Spring Training in their contract discussions with pitcher Yu Darvish, as general manager Jon Daniels said that those discussions could carry on into the regular season.

Some clubs are opposed to having contract discussions once the season starts, but the Rangers are willing to do so.

"Where we left [it] is that either side can privately open it or raise it at any point," Daniels told Norm Hitzges on 1310 The Ticket on Monday. "No set deadlines or anything like that. The lines of communication are open, and the relationship is very good. That's a great starting point."

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Darvish can be a free agent after the 2017 season. The Rangers have expressed a willingness to sign him to an extension but have tried to keep their discussions private.

"I would leave it at this," Daniels said. "Yu genuinely likes it here. I know every player says, 'I'd love to stay.' He is comfortable here. His family is. I am sure when he was growing up in Japan, he never thought of Texas. I am sure he thinks of the [West Coast when it comes to] the more popular cities for people coming over here. He has had a great experience with the club. They love the city, and he's one of the most talented pitchers in the game. We have interest in him staying here."

Darvish is currently in Dallas, where his wife gave birth to a son on Sunday. Darvish is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Arlington, fly back to Arizona on Wednesday and pitch on Friday, either against the Padres or in a Minor League game.

Rangers send nine to Minors: The Rangers sent nine players to the Minor Leagues on Monday, including three with significant Major League service time: pitcher Wesley Wright, third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfielder Travis Snider. All three do not have out clauses in their contracts, meaning they will likely be with Triple-A Round Rock.

The Rangers also re-assigned outfielder Josh Hamilton to Minor League camp, but that was a procedural move. Hamilton is in Houston recovering from surgery on his left knee and has not returned to camp. He will start the season on the Minor League disabled list.

Also sent down were catchers Jose Trevino and Patrick Cantwell, first baseman Ronald Guzman, and pitchers Brady Dragmire and Tyler Wagner. Dragmire and Wagner were both waiver claims this offseason and two players the Rangers want to watch closely at Triple-A.

Rangers beat
Cole Hamels makes his second Cactus League start on Tuesday against the White Sox in Surprise. Hamels is down for four or five innings and between 60 and 65 pitches.

Allen Webster is expected to start on Wednesday against the Angels in Tempe. A.J. Griffin is supposed to pitch that day but will likely work in a Minor League game. Rotation candidate Dillon Gee is expected to pitch on Thursday against the Dodgers.

• Pitcher Andrew Cashner, who has been dealing with pain in his right bicep tendon, is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game on Wednesday. He will pitch one or two innings, depending on how the first one goes.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.