If you’re the Rangers you pick Prince Fielder over Josh Hamilton, right?

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There has been increasing talk about the Rangers being interested in Prince Fielder.  Today Richard Justice of MLB.com has a column talking about the ins-and-outs of that.  Particularly what it would mean for Josh Hamilton:

Fielder’s signing would come at a time when Hamilton is approaching the final year of his contract. Last week, Hamilton said he would cut off negotiations if he’s not signed by the start of Spring Training … Hamilton would have to wonder if the Rangers have enough money to keep him AND Fielder. He might also wonder if the Rangers are choosing to sign Fielder instead of him.

Let’s say they can’t have them both, at least beyond 2012.  Personally, I’m having trouble seeing that as a problem.  Call me crazy, but wouldn’t you much rather have Prince Fielder around than Josh Hamilton going forward?  Hamilton is fragile and is no longer a center fielder. Fielder is the much better hitter. At least if you don’t assume that 2010 is the norm for Hamilton rather than the absolute peak.

If they can afford Darvish, Fielder and Hamilton for one year, they should do it and let Hamilton dangle when he’s a free agent in 2012. That’s what I’d do.

UPDATE: That’s what Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs would do too.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.