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Josh Hamilton On Possible Contract Extension: 'It's On The Backburner'

At the end of his press conference Friday, Texas Rangers OF Josh Hamilton added this interesting nugget:

It would have been nice if [the press conference] would have been about a contract, but we will put that on the back-burner for awhile.

Hamilton, who is set to become a free agent at the of the 2012 season, had reportedly wanted to get an extension agreed upon before the start of spring training.

But now, after his second alcohol related relapse since coming to Texas, the organization will undoubtedly want to tread extremely carefully before guaranteeing tens of million of dollars to the 30-year old outfielder.

It's an extremely complicated situation on many levels. Hamilton has become a fan favorite for both his aggressive style of play as well as his frank openness about struggling with addiction, but he's also become prone to injury in his time in Arlington, with many quietly wondering whether the years of damage he did to his body in his 20's will come back to haunt him as he ages.

Hamilton's agents reportedly wanted a contract similar to the 7-year $126 million deal Jayson Werth received from the Washington Nationals in 2010, but what his market value is after this latest incident is anyone's guess.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.