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The Rangers and Hamilton’s agent have had some talks during the season, but had put contract discussions on hold this winter after the slugger’s admitted one-night relapse with alcohol.

After being the No. 1 overall draft pick by Tampa Bay in 1999, Hamilton missed more than three full seasons in the minors and served several suspensions because of drugs and alcohol. He didn’t make his major league debut until 2007 with Cincinnati, and was traded after that season to Texas.

Hamilton, who turns 31 next week, said his focus isn’t on the prospect of free agency next winter. He’s more concerned with trying to play about 150 games, a total he surpassed only in his first season in Texas.

“I think about staying healthy first and foremost,” he said. “This is the first year I’ve never really set any goals for myself. I usually cap everything at like .300, 30 home runs, 100 RBIs. This year, I’m just going out and playing. Where they end up, they end up.”

He played only 89 games in 2009 because of an abdominal tear and a pinched nerve in his back. He missed a month of his MVP season with broken ribs after crashing into an outfield wall making a catch. He was out six weeks last year after he broke a bone in his arm diving headfirst trying to score on a foul popout, and had surgery for a sports hernia after the World Series.

Josh is a big, strong man and he plays hard,” Young said. “If we can figure out a way to keep him on the field for 150, 155-plus games, we’re going to be really, really happy with what we see.”