ARLINGTON, Texas — AL MVP Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers have agreed to a two-year contract that avoids an arbitration hearing next week.

The deal was reached Thursday, four days before a scheduled hearing in Phoenix.

Hamilton said this week that the AL champions had approached his agent about the possibility of a deal to cover his last two arbitration-eligible seasons. Hamilton can become a free agent after the 2012 World Series.

He hit a major league-leading .359 last season with 32 homers and 100 RBIs despite missing most of the final month of the regular season with broken ribs. He returned for end of regular season and the playoffs.