Josh Hamilton not 'stressed' about Prince Fielder

FORT WORTH – Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton says he hasn’t heard anything from his agent in regards to a long-term contract extension with the club. He maintains that the start of spring training is the deadline for getting a deal done so that if it’s not completed, he can focus on the 2012 season.

The outfielder, chatting with the media before signing autographs and answering questions from fans as part of the Rangers Winter Caravan at Academy Sports and Outdoors in Fort Worth on Monday, said he’s heard the fan and media debate about whether the Rangers should sign him or Prince Fielder to a long contract.

Rangers co-chairman Bob Simpson said Friday that personally, he’d like to see Hamilton resigned over obtaining Prince Fielder, but acknowledged that it was something the club would have to discuss if Fielder even became a possibility.

"I’ve seen a little bit of it," Hamilton said. "I think it comes down to what you want. When I see these guys comparing us, I’m like, ‘Stick him in the outfield and see how long he lasts. Stick me at first base and see how long I last.’ You never can tell about a player. He’s played 160 games a lot. I haven’t. So there’s pros and cons [on] both sides. It’s pretty funny to watch these guys compare us and share their thoughts. It’s always been trusting in the Lord to have me where he wants to have me and not stress about it. I haven’t stressed about it and I’m not going to stress about it."

Hamilton says he’s healthy after surgery this offseason to repair torn adductors in his left leg and a torn abdominal muscle. He is doing full workouts, including agility drills, and is swinging a bat.

He reiterated he’d like to get all the contract talk out of the way before spring training begins.

"It kind of helps both sides," Hamilton said. "It puts some urgency on getting something done and also if it doesn’t get done, I can focus on what I need to do and not worry about it. It’s very important to have a clear mind and be focused on what you need to do to help the team win."

Hamilton said that even if he doesn’t reach a deal with the Rangers by the beginning of spring training, he wants to stay.

"We‘ve already told the Rangers that if it doesn’t happen before the season that they are the first ones we’ll come to after the season is over," Hamilton said.

Hamilton says he has a new accountability partner in mind, but the candidate hasn’t met with the Rangers yet.