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Rangers’ co-owner would rather keep Josh Hamilton than sign Prince Fielder

Jan 21, 2012, 10:59 AM EDT

josh hamilton getty Getty Images

Now that Yu Darvish is officially in the fold as a member of the Texas Rangers, much of the attention will shift to whether the club should also sign Prince Fielder.

The Rangers will soon have plenty of money coming in thanks to their new television contract, but the reality is that they might not be able to afford both Fielder and Josh Hamilton for the long-term. The 30-year-old Hamilton is under contract for $13.75 million in 2012, after which he’ll become a free agent.

Rangers co-owner Bob Simpson has an opinion on the matter. And he isn’t afraid to share it. According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Simpson said following Darvish’s press conference last night that he would rather re-sign Hamilton than make a run at Fielder.

“We’ve got guys, frankly, like Josh Hamilton that I would love to see re-signed. My personal preference, at this moment, would be to re-sign him instead of having Fielder. But we could all debate that. The organization has its feelings. Everybody dreams about having both. Sometimes you can’t have both at some level. If they came around to something we’d do, we’d look at him. But we don’t think it’s likely.”

“He’s been considered, but given our set of cards, too pricey,” Simpson said. “If that were to change, I guess they’d look at it harder. Right now he’s priced himself out of what we could do.”

Fielder vs. Hamilton is an interesting debate, one which generated plenty of discussion earlier this week. All things being equal, it’s a pretty easy call to go with Fielder. In addition to being the more consistent hitter, Fielder is three years younger and has played in at least 157 games in each of his six full seasons in the big leagues. Meanwhile, Hamilton has averaged 114 games played over the past three seasons. Having Fielder through his prime seasons — weight concerns and all — maximizes the chance of value rather than keeping an injury-prone Hamilton into his mid-30s.

Of course, Fielder is likely asking for a much longer contract than Hamilton will, so these situations aren’t exactly the same. But given the choice, he looks like the wiser investment.

  1. angrycorgi - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Fielder is the obvious choice? Dream on. Fielder jus keeps getting fatter and fatter…he’ll wea out his body in 2-3 years at this rate.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      As opposed to Hamilton, who’s been breaking down for years now.

    • madnova - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Yeah..Prince hasn’t gotten fatter. Quite the opposite, really.

  2. 78mu - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    At least he didn’t say he would rather keep Young than sign Fielder.

    Hamilton I can understand after what he’s done since joining the Rangers. It’s not his fault that his 2 run HR didn’t win the WS.

    Besides Fielder cost the Rangers home field in the WS.

  3. streatordave - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Can we go w/ OTHER than these two. They both are going to be paid more than their worth.
    Put Nellie on (Just kidding) PEDs ….LOL

  4. proudlycanadian - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    To me, Hamilton is a Texas Ranger and Fielder is a mercenary. I would rather go with the guy who has gone to war for you than rely on the mercenary.

    • 78mu - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      Fielder is just doing what Hamilton will do when his contract is up if he doesn’t get an extension.

  5. Old Gator - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    “….Fielder is three years younger and has played in at least 157 games in each of the last five seasons….Having Fielder through his prime seasons — weight concerns and all — maximizes the chance of value rather than keeping an injury-prone Hamilton into his mid-30s.”

    D. J. Short

    Below is the complete schedule of flights by the Hindenburg:

    1936 Flight Schedule

    March 4: Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen (3hr6min) [Test flight]
    March 5: Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen (8hr) [Test flight]
    March 6: Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen (3hr14min) [Test flight]
    March 17-March 18: Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen (22hr45min) [Test flight]
    March 18-March 18: Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen (7hr49min)
    March 23-March 23: Friedrichshafen-Löwental (6hr23min) [Test flight, Mail flight]
    March 26-March 26: Löwental-Löwental (3ht16min)
    March 26-March 29: Löwental-Löwental (74hr4min) [Propaganda flight, dropping pro-Hitler election leaflets]
    March 31-April 4: Löwental-Rio de Janeiro (100hr40min) [First South America flight]
    April 6-April 10: Rio de Janeiro-Löwental (103hr52min)
    May 4-May 4: Löwental-Frankfurt (7hr32min)
    May 6-May 9: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (61hr40min) [First flight to North America]
    May 12-May 14: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (49hr13min)
    May 17-May 20: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (78hr57min)
    May 21- May 23: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (48hr8min)
    May 25-May 29: Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro (85hr13min)
    May 30-June 3: Rio de Janeiro-Frankfurt 93hr17min)
    June 5-June 5: Frankfurt-Löwental (8hr19min)
    June 16-June 16: Löwental-Löwental (9hr4min) [(Krupp/Essen flight]
    June 18-June 18: Löwental-Frankfurt (3hr17min)
    June 18-June 18: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (11hr)(Rhineland flight)
    June 19-June 22: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (61hr30min)
    June 24-June 26: Lakehurst-Frankfurt ( 61hr5min) [Max Schmeling return]
    June 30-July 2: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (52hr49min)
    July 4-July 6: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (45hr39min)
    July 8-July 8: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (1hr26min)
    July 8-July 8: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (1hr)
    July 10-July 13: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (63hr27min)
    July 15-July 17: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (60hr58min)
    July 20-July 24: Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro (85hr38min)
    July 25-July 19: Rio de Janeiro-Frankfurt (96hr35min)
    August 1-August 1: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (14hr) [Olympic Games flight]
    August 5-August 8: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (75hr56min) [Passenger description]
    August 10-August 11: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (43hr2min)
    August 17-August 19: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (90hr10 min)
    August 20-August 22: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (43hr49min)
    August 27-August 30: Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro (88hr34min)
    September 4-September 8: Rio de Janeiro-Friedrichshafen (109hr55min)
    September 14-September 14: Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen (10hr53min) [Flight over 1936 Nazi Party Nuremberg Rally]
    September 16-September 16: Friedrichshafen-Frankfurt (3hr6min)
    September 17-September 20: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (62hr54min)
    September 22-September 24: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (55hr36min)
    September 26-September 29: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (63hr14min)
    October 1-October 3: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (58hr2min)
    October 5-October 7: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (55hr35min)
    October 9-October 9: Lakehurst-Lakehurst (10hr25min) ["Millionaires Flight"]
    October 10-October 12: Lakehurst-Frankfurt (52hr17min)
    October 21-October 25: Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro (111hr41min)
    October29-October 30: Rio de Janeiro-Recife (21hr48min)
    October 30-November 2: Recife-Frankfurt (85hr20min)
    November 5-November 9: Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro (97hr50min)
    November 12-November 16: Rio de Janeiro-Frankfurt (105hr57min)
    November 25-November 29: Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro (94hr59min)
    November 30-December 1: Rio de Janeiro-Rio de Janeiro (26hr37min)
    December 3-December 4: Rio de Janeiro-Recife (22hr57min)
    December 4-December 7: Recife-Frankfurt (83hr34min)

    1937 Flight Schedule

    March 11-March 11: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (6hr17min)
    March 11- March 11: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (1hr14min)
    March 16-March 20: Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro (88hr48min)
    March 23-March 26: Rio de Janeiro-Frankfurt (97hr8min)
    April 27-April 27: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (6hr59min) [Udet flight/Rhineland]
    April 27-April 27: Frankfurt-Frankfurt (2hr23min) [Udet hook-on trial flight]
    May 3-May 6: Frankfurt-Lakehurst (77hr8min) [Hindenburg exploded and crashed at Lakehurst]

    Sooner or later, blimps will be blimps. Sorry, D. J.

    • 78mu - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      So many people are concerned about Fielder’s weight but D.J. is just pointing out that he’s been more dependable than Hamilton or most other players these last 5 years. He might go down hill as fast as Cecil did but so far the guy has been able to produce every day.

      • paperlions - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        Yes, and OG is pointing out that when investing in the future, past performance is only one variable to consider. There have been a lot of guys with Fielder’s body type that were great players until 30, and crashed and burned soon after. Yes, Hamilton has been injury prone, many are actually from him playing the game hard on defense and running the bases.

        The fact remains that Fielder is a horrible defensive player and horrible on the bases, and he will only get worse at each of those with each passing year. He’s essentially already a DH.

        Hamilton provides value in the field (always a plus defender in CF and will be among the best LF if he’s moved over there), he’s a plus runner, and a good hitter. He just has more ways to help a than Fielder, who isn’t the most consistent hitter in the world either. Hamilton is older, but gives a team more flexibility….Fielder is Younger, that’s pretty much his entire selling point….and he’s probably looking for a contract that will end when he’s as old as Hamilton will be when his next contract ends.

      • kinggw - Jan 21, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        @paperlions, I keep hearing that there have been lots of guys with Fielder’s body type that have gone down after they hit 30. Who are these guys? There is Cecil Fielder and Mo Vaughn, who else is on the list? I think big guys get injured around the same rate as guys who arent, there is just the perception that if you carry a lot of weight you are more injury prone. Prince Fielder is a big guy, but he keeps himself in pretty good shape, and has been a vegetarian for over 3 years now. I would be more concerned if he just blew up, but he has been a big kid his whole life and his body can handle the strain. I understand while GMs would include weight clauses in his contract, but the weight issue is completely overblown.

      • paperlions - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:32 PM

        Carlos Lee (no never as good as other fat guys, still fell off a cliff at 32) and Ryan Howard (early decline that is getting faster every year) come to mind.

        Who are the fat guys that stayed productive past their early 30s?

    • D.J. Short - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Haha, even I can laugh at that.

    • vanmorrissey - Jan 21, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Dude, HILARIOUS, just out and out good stuff.

  6. bluesoxbaseball - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Bob Simpson is an idiot

    • Old Gator - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Meerkats suck too. What does any of that prove?

  7. buffalomafia - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I don’t think Prince wants to play for the Nats!

    Personaly I would sit out till a contender needs me?

    • Old Gator - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      The Gnats are on the cusp of contention now. Fielder at DH would make them contenders immediately.

  8. medicade - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    how about hamilton switching to play first base. Last longer, good fielder, good bat and it would extend his pro career. First basemen never get hurt. Just a thought!

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