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Street 'a blend of hopeful and optimistic' on extension talks

SEATTLE -- Huston Street, the rare self-represented player, isn't necessarily self-represented anymore.

With extension talks leaking into the regular season, the veteran closer has rehired his former agent, Alan Hendricks, to handle the bulk of negotiations with the Angels and "make it easier for me to focus day to day."

So, Street the closer has essentially fired Street the agent.

"I did not fire him," Street contested. "I trust that guy, but that guy needs to play baseball."

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Monday that extension talks with Street, in his final year before free agency, will continue past Opening Day.

"We're continuing to discuss," Dipoto said. "He wants to be here, we want him here. We're not in a rush to get to anything, and we never were."

Street echoed Dipoto's sentiments on Tuesday, saying he's "a blend of hopeful and optimistic" that something will get done.

The 31-year-old right-hander has posted a 2.82 ERA and 275 saves in his 10-year career and entered the season seeking a four-year deal between $36 million and $46 million.

"We are close enough that I'm still engaged," said Street, who wouldn't go into specifics but hinted that the deal has a greater chance of getting done if it's early in the season.

That could be because the initial plan calls for the first year of the extension to come this season, thus changing Street's current earnings from his $7 million salary for 2015. A team can replace a player's compensation for the current season at any time, no matter how many games have taken place, as long as it ends up paying him his new salary by season's end. That means if there's an increase in salary for that season, the club has to make up for it on the back end. And the later a deal is agreed upon, the harder that is to do.

"I wanted to get it done before [Opening Day], as every player does, for no other reason than it allows you to be singularly focused on your teammates," Street added. "But the parameters are pretty clear based on timetables. The only thing that could shift anything is the amount of time it takes. Signing a contract in April is a little different than signing in August. But we have a clear understanding of how the timing of getting something done may or may not shift those parameters."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.
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