Saturday, January 21, 2012
Bob Simpson prefers Josh Hamilton over Prince Fielder
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Bob Simpson, Rangers co-chairman of the board, said Friday night after the introductory news conference for Yu Darvish that his preference would be to re-sign Josh Hamilton over signing free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
"We’ve got guys, frankly, like Josh Hamilton that I would love to see re-signed," said Simpson, whose interview with a few media folks from last night can be heard on Rangers Magazine at 10 a.m. this morning on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (hosted by Bryan Dolgin). "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."
Fielder is, of course, the top free agent left on the market and would bolster a lineup that is already considered by many as one of the best and deepest in the majors. While saying a deal for Fielder was unlikely, Simpson didn't close the door.
"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."
Simpson said the biggest offseason deal was acquiring Darvish, which Simpson called "complicated" because of winning a posting bid and reaching an agreement with him.
"We did it," Simpson said. "Now we’re satisfied. If we get something on top of that, great. But not something that wrecks our financial discipline."
In other words: The deal might need to be backloaded and be a term and yearly salary the Rangers could fit into their budget.