Harrison, Texas Rangers still discussing potential contract extension

Posted Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FRISCO -- Matt Harrison returned home to North Carolina on Sunday without making any more progress on a possible contract extension with the Texas Rangers this weekend.

"Going home without getting anything done," Harrison said, making an appearance at Sunday's winter caravan stop at Academy Sports and Outdoors before catching his flight. "We'll see what happens."

Harrison was in town to accept his Pitcher of the Year award on Friday and has been in talks with the Rangers regarding a multi-year deal this winter. If a deal isn't reached by Friday, Harrison and his representatives have a salary arbitration number set for 2013, when figures are exchanged between players and teams for the first time. Players and teams then try to work out deals before arbitration hearings are held Feb. 4-20.

But Harrison, who is set to hit free agency after the 2014 season, remains hopeful something long-term can be worked out and is excited to be in the position he is.

Two years ago, Harrison was at a crossroads in his career. The Rangers left him off the 2010 World Series roster, but he responded in 2011 by going 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA, and he started Game 7 of the World Series.

Harrison then became the Rangers' most consistent starter last season, winning 18 games and being named to the All-Star team.

"It's been a lot of fun, and it's a big honor to be Pitcher of the Year," Harrison said. "Being back here [in Texas] and around the fans, you know that it's about that time to get it started back up."

Ross would like to start

The fifth spot in the Rangers' rotation remains open, and Robbie Ross would be more than happy to try to win it. But he hasn't been told anything yet.

Still, it appears Ross will be one of several candidates competing for the final spot in the rotation in spring training. Martin Perez and Justin Grimm are two other internal candidates, and the Rangers likely would add a couple more to the mix.

"Oh gosh, I would love that," Ross said. "It would be great; it would be exciting. At the same time, I enjoyed being out of the bullpen. It was a great experience last year, and I know how to approach it now."

Ross was a starter his entire minor-league career before becoming a left-handed reliever for the Rangers last season. He had success out of the bullpen, too, posting a 2.22 ERA over 58 appearances as a rookie. Ross, though, isn't taking a roster spot for granted.

"I don't want to have a spring where I come in and flop," Ross said. "I don't want a sophomore slump at all. So I'll be working hard in the spring to make the team again."

Ross believes he'll have a better idea of what role to prepare for when he returns for the team's pitching minicamp later this week. Others scheduled to participate include Perez, Michael Kirkman, Grimm, Wilmer Font, Tanner Scheppers, Roman Mendez, Coty Woods, Cory Burns, Nick Tepesch, Cody Buckel, Johan Yan and Jake Brigham.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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