GOODYEAR, Ariz. — David Murphy expects to hit the free-agent market next winter.There has been little to no talk between him and the Texas Rangers regarding a contract extension this spring.The Rangers stated this off-season that they intended to discuss an extension with Murphy, but those talks haven’t come to fruition with Opening Day a week away.Murphy, 31, said he would “definitely” like to stay with the Rangers after this season, and hasn’t been concerned or discouraged by the lack of talks.“Every player desires security, but at the end of the day, I’m still living my dream,” Murphy said. “Money is a perk to this job, but it’s not why I play. If I keep playing well, good things will happen.“But I think my career is going to start going in the tank if I start worrying about stuff like this and if I make money my sole motivation.”Murphy enters the season as the Rangers’ starting left fielder. He is coming off a career year in which he batted .304 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in 147 games.If Murphy has a similar season, he could be in line for a three- or four-year extension.Carlos Gomez, who is better defensively but inferior offensively to Murphy, signed a three-year, $24 million extension with the Brewers earlier this spring. Cody Ross, who is a year older than Murphy, reached a three-year, $26 million deal with the Diamondbacks this winter.The Lewis planColby Lewis couldn’t be more pleased with how his rehab from flexor tendon surgery on his right elbow has gone this off-season and spring.Lewis threw a 45-pitch bullpen session at 75 percent effort level Friday with no issues, and is scheduled for another one on Tuesday.If that goes well, Lewis could progress to throwing live batting practice late next week.“Live BP has a little more adrenaline to it,” Lewis said. “I’m not really ripping on my curveball or slider yet, but I’m throwing them with decent bite.”Once a pitcher begins throwing live BP, the general timetable is approximately six weeks before he is ready to return to major-league action. That would mean Lewis could by ready as early as mid-May, barring an unforeseen setback.However, the Rangers and Lewis have stressed they won’t rush it and risk another injury.Kirkman impressesMichael Kirkman has emerged as a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong spring, and pitched four innings in a minor-league game Friday night.He didn’t have a great line, though, allowing four runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts.“The line doesn’t tell the truth,” pitching coach Mike Maddux said. “They squared a couple balls on him, but everything was pretty good. I thought his fastball command was good and his breaking ball was sharp.”Kirkman also faced the same three batters every inning, and discovered midway through it that he was tipping his pitches. For his fastball, he’d rock back-and-forth three times before settling in and he’d do it only twice on his curveball.“Apparently I’ve been doing it for a while, but it was an easy fix,” Kirkman said. “Other than that, it was great. My breaking balls were good, changeup was good, fastball command was better.”Yu sectionYu Darvish will have his own cheering section for every home start he makes this season.The Rangers, in a partnership with Kia Motors America, have created the “Kia Yuniverse,” located in sections 201-208 at Rangers Ballpark. Fans with tickets in those sections on nights Darvish start will receive a T-shirt and K-cards that are in yellow and black.Fans can purchase tickets in the designated sections once it is announced Darvish is starting at home by visiting texasrangers.com or by calling 972-726-4377.Briefly• The Rangers re-signed right-handed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama to a minor-league contract Saturday. Tateyama, who has spent the past two years in the organization, was released Thursday.• Catcher Konrad Schmidt was released as part of four cuts from big-league camp. Right-handers Ben Rowen and Lisalverto Bonilla, along with infielder Yangervis Solarte, were re-assigned to minor-league camp.• Utility candidate Jeff Baker left Saturday’s game in the third inning with sinus issues.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison