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.