Rangers haven't ruled out Josh Hamilton's return

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 07, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- By now everyone knows the official company line from the Texas Rangers regarding Josh Hamilton.

The door is open for him to come back to the team where he became a superstar, but the Rangers are going to let him test the market and get back to them.

Nothing had changed Wednesday during the first day of the GM meetings at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa, nor had the Rangers' top off-season priorities of acquiring a catcher and bullpen help.

But the hands-off approach to Hamilton and the fact that they don't see him as their No. 1 need has left an impression that the Rangers have already moved on from the five-time All-Star.

General manager Jon Daniels, though, debunked that notion and said that the Rangers are in on Hamilton.

"I think there's this perception out there that we don't want Josh back," Daniels said. "That's not accurate.

"We have to address our catching and our bullpen, just because we've got holes there. Josh is a different story. There's just not too many Josh Hamiltons out there. Josh is an impact player we'd love to have back, but we also have other good players in that spot."

Daniels has maintained contact with Hamilton's agent, Mike Moye, so far this off-season, and might meet with him before these meetings wrap up Friday morning.

However, the Rangers have no feel for which way the Hamilton situation will go, nor will they wait for Hamilton to make a decision.

Team president Nolan Ryan, speaking to reporters at Rangers Ballpark, said time is not on Hamilton's side.

"I don't think you're sitting here saying, 'We'll wait until January,'" Ryan said. "I think it's just one of those deals that after this week, people will have a better feel for what people's level of interest is. You have to decide what's in your best interest."

Daniels agreed, and said that Hamilton hasn't held up the Rangers' progress so far. They have scenarios in place in which he returns and will move on a deal they like even if he is still unsigned.

The Rangers have even gone so far as to discuss with ownership the possibility that they max out the budget and later get an opportunity to sign Hamilton that makes sense.

"It's a unique situation," Daniels said. "It's somewhat dependent on their timing, what else we do, and ultimately what the market bears and what Josh wants."

The catching market will be competitive, and free agent Mike Napoli remains on the Rangers' radar even though they opted not to make him a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer last week.

The market for relievers typically is always tough, and the Rangers have to replace three -- Alexi Ogando, who was added to the rotation, and free-agent right-handers Mike Adams and Koji Uehara.

Daniels said that he isn't expecting Adams to return. He had been the Rangers' primary set-up man in the eighth inning since he was acquired at the July 31 trade deadline in 2011, but he is seeking a multi-year contract.

"I think Mike's earned the right and put up performances indicative of a substantial contract," Daniels said. "Historically we haven't done those kinds of deals [for relievers]."

There is interest in bringing back Uehara, Daniels said, and the club has discussed a minor league deal with Yoshinori Tateyama. The Rangers declined a $1 million option on Tateyama last month.

Among the potential outfielders the Rangers could chase to help replace Hamilton or upgrade the offense is Arizona right fielder Justin Upton.

The Diamondbacks are listening to offers on the 25-year-old, who has three years and $38 million left on his contract. Arizona would likely want a third baseman or shortstop and a starting pitcher in return.

Prosper resident Torii Hunter and Nick Swisher, both free-agent right fielders, are also players well-liked within the organization.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Kansas City «7Final | Box
Baltimore5Top 9th | Box
NY Yankees4@theBallpark | TV: MASN, MY9, ESPN
NY Mets2Final | Box
Washington «4
Seattle2Final | Box
Toronto «10
Chicago WSox3Bottom 9th | Box
Detroit3@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-DET
Pittsburgh «3Final | Box
Tampa Bay6Top 9th | Box
Boston2@theBallpark | TV: Sun Sports, NESN
Milwaukee1Final | Box
Cincinnati «3
Philadelphia0Final | Box
Miami «2
St. Louis3Bottom 7th | Box
Chicago Cubs3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-MW, WCIU
Houston0Top 7th | Box
Texas2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU, FSN-SW
Arizona1Top 7th | Box
Minnesota5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-N
LA Angels0Bottom 1st | Box
Oakland0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, CSN-CA
San Francisco0Bottom 1st | Box
Los Angeles0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, SprtsNet LA, ESPN
Colorado0Bottom 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
NY Giants 8:25 PM ET
Washington TV: CBS, NFL Network
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Oakland TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Jacksonville 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: CBS
Atlanta 4:25 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Philadelphia 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
New Orleans 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: NBC
New England 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh0Final | Box
Columbus «2
Carolina0Final | Box
Buffalo «2
Philadelphia0Final | Box
Toronto «4
Boston2Final | Box
Montreal «3
Nashville2Final | Box
Tampa Bay «4
Detroit13rd Prd | Box
San Jose02nd Prd 8:03 | Box
Vancouver1TV: NHL Network (JIP)
Arizona01st Prd 11:42 | Box
Vancouver 9/23 10:30 PM ET
San Jose 
Full Scoreboard