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Moreland gearing for arbitration, and position change

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers haven't had an arbitration hearing with a player since 2000. Mitch Moreland isn't too concerned that he'll be the player to break that streak despite a significant difference in salary figures submitted last week.

Moreland is seeking $3.25 million from arbitration while the Rangers are offering $2,025,000. Hearings will be held the first three weeks in February and the Rangers will continue to negotiate with Moreland's representatives.

"We've got people who handle it for us so we can go out and play the game," Moreland said. "I'm planning on getting ready for the season and let the people who are supposed to handle it, handle it."

Moreland was at the Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday working out. The Rangers are holding a camp for pitchers but Moreland was there working with third-base coach Gary Pettis on his outfield defense.

Moreland played first base last season but lost that job when the Rangers acquired Prince Fielder from the Tigers. Moreland is now the leading candidate to be the designated hitter, but the Rangers want him to be able to play the outfield, as well.

Moreland has played 45 games in right field at the Major League level and another 181 in the Minor Leagues. He actually played more games in right than at first base (141) while in the Minors. He was a right fielder because of a strong throwing arm, but the Rangers want him comfortable in left, as well. The Rangers place a premium on versatility and this could help Moreland in that regard.

"It's not like I've never done it before," Moreland said. "It's something I've done and something I think I'll be able to do."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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