Rangers' Hamilton agrees to two-year, $24 million deal

DALLAS (Reuters) - Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, the American League's Most Valuable Player, has reached a two-year, $24 million agreement with the team, Major League Baseball's official website said Thursday.

The deal allows the Rangers to avoid an arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday.

Hamilton, 29, had been seeking $12 million for next season, baseball's website (www.mlb.com) reported, while the Rangers had offered $8.7 million.

Despite being injured for much of September, Hamilton won the AL batting champion with a club-record .359 average. He hit 32 home runs, drove in 100 runs, and made his third consecutive All-Star team.

He led the Rangers to the AL championship and their first World Series, but they lost to the San Francisco Giants in the Fall Classic in five games.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Steve Ginsburg)