Prince Fielder not on Rangers radar?
But as of Tuesday morning, Rangers president Nolan Ryan isn't so sure. He said that he doesn't see how Fielder fits financially in the club's plans. And sources said the club is not pursuing Fielder at this time.
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Fielder, 27, is one of the top bats on the free-agent market. He hit .299 with 38 homers and 120 RBIs and played in all 162 games in 2011 for Milwaukee. He has a .282 career average, has hit at least 28 home runs in all six of his full seasons (including a career-high 50 in 2007) and has played in at least 157 games in all of his full seasons as well.
The Rangers, though, have key members of their core they'll need to consider re-signing in the next few years, starting with Josh Hamilton, and that makes it difficult to take on a contract the size of Fielder's without giving up a member of that core. That also includes Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler in the near future.
The club also is a strong believer in Mitch Moreland as he continues to develop. A wrist injury slowed Moreland in the second half of the season and he had surgery last month. He's expected to be back by the time games start in Surprise, Ariz., if not sooner. Texas has Michael Young and Napoli, who played some first base in 2011, as well.
But the Texas front office is known as a creative group and they explore any and all options. Perhaps if C.J. Wilson signs with another team, that change their minds on Fielder.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.