Cold winter: Hamilton is latest loss for Rangers

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm •  Published: December 13, 2012
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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was talking before lunch Thursday about the team still wanting to re-sign Josh Hamilton.

Just more than an hour later, after getting a call from Hamilton's agent, Daniels was telling the same group of reporters that the five-time All-Star slugger and 2010 AL MVP had agreed to a deal with the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels.

So far, it has been that kind of offseason for Texas.

Zack Greinke, the top free-agent pitcher also targeted by the Rangers, chose the Los Angeles Dodgers instead last weekend.

"Now we go back and look at some of our other options," Daniels said after getting word that Hamilton was suddenly gone, too.

"We've talked all along that we want to play some of our own guys. We were hoping to do it alongside Josh, and I liked the idea of our young players playing with some of our established guys," the GM said. "We still have a very good nucleus, but it is what it is. He's a big part of the club the last few years, and now he's on the other side."

All-Star right-hander James Shields, another pitcher Texas likely would have been interested in pursuing in a trade, was instead dealt from Tampa Bay to Kansas City. And the Arizona Diamondbacks have said now that it's "highly unlikely" they will deal young slugging outfielder Justin Upton after a three-team trade this week that got the Diamondbacks a desired shortstop.

The Rangers have been to the playoffs three consecutive seasons, but last year dropped a winner-take-all wild-card game at home to Baltimore after losing the division title to Oakland on the last day of the regular season. They went to the previous two World Series.

When Rangers president Nolan Ryan was asked Thursday to assess the offseason so far, he responded, "It hasn't probably gone as we had hoped to this point."

And that was before agent Michael Moye called the Rangers with Hamilton's decision.

"We still feel like we have a good ballclub and we feel like we're in a good position," Ryan said. "So I don't think that we're feeling like any pressure to go out and make something happen."

Michael Young, the longest-tenured player in Texas with 12 seasons, was traded to Philadelphia last week for two young relievers. Two Rangers free agents, catcher Mike Napoli and reliever Koji Uehara, have reached agreements with Boston.

With Young and Napoli gone, the Rangers could be ready to give rookie infielder Jurickson Profar a chance. One possible scenario is for Profar to take over at second base and Ian Kinsler to switch to first base — where Young and Napoli split some time.

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