Inside Surprise: Contract Talk

The latest on the Michael Young and Ian Kinsler contract talks, Eric Gagne's intestinal issues, and the first starting lineup of the spring.

Extension Updates

With the Friday deadline to get a deal done looming, word is the much anticipated contract extension for Michael Young could be either a 5 year, $80 million deal, or a 6 year, $90 million deal. Young set the Friday extension deadline on his own, stating that he has a "responsibility to my teammates to be ready for the 2007 season." If things get worked out, the new deal would start in 2009 after the current contract expires, and could go through 2013 or 2014, depending on whether they agree to the five-year or the six-year contract. Tom Hicks and the Rangers haven't been shy in making it known that they want Young to be the face of this franchise for a long time to come.

Meanwhile, last Saturday Jon Daniels had met with Ian Kinsler's agents to try and lock up Young's double-play partner to a multiyear deal as well. Today, it was Assistant GM Thad Levine's turn to met with Kinsler's agents, Jeff Franklin and Jeff Frye, and although a one-year deal has been wrapped up for the 24 year old, a multiyear contract appears as though it will have to wait. Kinsler wouldn't be eligible for arbitration until after the 2008 season, but the Rangers have had a good track record of avoiding arbitration by locking up their infielders to deals in the past.

Gagne Leaves Camp Early

Eric Gagne showed up for work in Surprise and participated in some long toss this afternoon, but an intestinal virus forced the closer to pack it in and head home early. Head trainer Jamie Reed had planned for Gagne to work out his pitching arm, but quickly sent him home so his virus wouldn't affect any teammates. He's not expected to throw off a mound anytime soon and it'll be at least a few days before he's allowed to work out with the team again.

Injury Bugs

Back spasms continue to hamper John Rheinecker and the lefty is in danger of losing his chance at landing the fifth starter spot.

Joaquin Arias and Drew Meyer have both been sidelined with sore wrists.

Exhibition ball begins Friday

The "B" team will open the Spring Training schedule with a morning game against the Royals. It will feature a lineup with Jason Botts in left field and will also serve as the first in-game action of the year for one Samuel Peralta Sosa. The starting infield of Teixeira, Kinsler, Young, and Blalock will see action with the "A" squad that afternoon, also against the Royals. Here are the probable starting lineups for both teams, as reported by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News:

B Game vs. Royals (Royals complex, 11:05 AM CT)

CF Freddy Guzman
2B Jerry Hairston Jr.
RF Victor Diaz
DH Sammy Sosa
LF Jason Botts
3B Desi Relaford
1B Nate Gold
SS Matt Kata
C Guillermo Quiroz
Pitchers: Kevin Millwood (starter), Scott Rice, Frank Francisco, Eric Hurley, Daniel Haigwood

A Game vs. Kansas City (main stadium at 2:05 PM CT)

CF Kenny Lofton
DH Frank Catalanotto
SS Michael Young
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Hank Blalock
LF Brad Wilkerson
RF Nelson Cruz
C Gerald Laird
2B Ian Kinsler
Starting pitcher: Kameron Loe (starter), John Koronka , Edinson Volquez, Willie Eyre, Joaquin Benoit, Wes Littleton

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