American League MVP Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers agreed Thursday to a two-year, $24 million contract that avoids an arbitration hearing next week.
The outfielder gets a $3 million signing bonus, a $7.25 million salary this year and $13.75 million in 2012, according to Washington Post.
Hamilton was seeking $12 million a year, with an arbitration hearing scheduled for Feb. 14, while the Rangers were offering $8.7 million per season. The Rangers haven't gone to arbitration with a player since 2000, Bloomberg says.
The deal, four days before a scheduled arbitration hearing, covers his last two arbitration-eligible seasons. Hamilton can become a free agent after the 2012 World Series.
A three-time All-Star outfielder and former No. 1 overall draft pick, Hamilton has a .311 career average with 93 homers and 331 RBIs in 468 major-league games. It's been an incredible comeback for a player whose career was derailed by cocaine and alcohol addictions after he got hurt in the minors.
Hamilton, 29, made his major-league debut with Cincinnati in 2007, and he flourished after being traded to Texas. Hamilton hit a major league-leading .359 last season with 32 homers and 100 RBIs despite missing most of the final month of the regular season because of broken ribs, Kansas City Star reports.