Hamilton wants to remain with Rangers

Hamilton wants to remain with Rangers

Hamilton wants to remain with Rangers
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton reiterated Saturday that "there's nothing to worry about" with his long-term contract status, even with the club dabbling in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes.

Hamilton, who is in the last year of his contract -- he'll make $13.75 million -- said before an appearance at Rangers FanFest at the Arlington Convention Center that it's all about the 2012 season for him, and helping the Rangers get back to a third consecutive World Series -- and winning it this time.

"I'm focused on this year and doing everything I need to do to get ready," Hamilton said. "We've been to the World Series twice and as close as we've gotten, let's make the team as good as it can be so we can get that last out."

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said Saturday at FanFest that the club's meeting with Fielder and agent Scott Boras was "very preliminary." He was asked by a young fan during a Q&A session at FanFest what he thought of the meeting.

"We met Prince yesterday and his agent, Scott Boras, to try to get a true feel for where they are at this point in time in his free agency, to see if we thought there might be something there that would work for the Texas Rangers," Ryan said. "It's very preliminary and it's very early in any type of negotiation process. It was an initial meeting that we had."

Hamilton, along with second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Mitch Moreland, all said they would welcome Fielder to the fold, even though it could impact them in different ways -- Hamilton and Kinsler on a long-term contract, and Moreland with playing time.

"To imagine our lineup with Prince Fielder in it is pretty ridiculous looking," Hamilton said. "Our lineup is already ridiculous. Prince has been consistent. He's very durable. With that short porch in right, and the way my man can hit bombs, it would be interesting."

Hamilton said Saturday that physically he is doing everything as Spring Training approaches. He was told by doctors not to rush things, so he has taken an extra week to recover. He said he started swinging off a tee four days ago, and will increase his workload to 10 to 15 live pitches this week.

When Spring Training starts, he will focus on the season and not his contract status. Hamilton said, as he did earlier this offseason, that he would like to know where he's going to be long term.

But he's not concerned about signing a long-term contract to put his past and alcohol and substance abuse problems behind him, or because his struggles with injuries the last three seasons.

"I could sign for two years or 10 years and the same thoughts and questions are going to be asked," Hamilton said.