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The Texas Rangers plan to continue contract talks with right-hander Yu Darvish into the season, general manager John Daniels said Monday.

Darvish is in the final year of the contract he signed with the Rangers after being posted by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters following the 2011 season.

“Where we left (it) is that either side can privately open it or raise it at any point,” Daniels said in a Dallas sports radio interview on 1310 The Ticket on Monday, according to mlb.com.

“No set deadlines or anything like that. The lines of communication are open, and the relationship is very good. That’s a great starting point.”

Should Darvish opt for free agency after the season, it could be a banner year for Japanese players on the market, with New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka eligible to opt out of his contract at season’s end and Fighters star Shohei Otani likely to seek a deal through the posting system.

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