ARLINGTON, Texas –Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he was disappointed that his club didn’t at least get a chance to “have a conversation” before Hamilton accepted any deal.
Daniels made the comments late Thursday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, after getting a few hours to digest the news that Hamilton had agreed to terms on what sources told ESPN.com is a five-year, $125 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
“My disappointment stems more from the fact that there was a relationship over time,” Daniels said. “I thought we understood that we had a chance to at least have a conversation. This isn’t restricted free agency in the NFL where you get an offer sheet and a chance to match it. We never expected that.
“But we thought with the relationship that we’d have one more conversation before the fact and that didn’t happen. I wish him well. I wish him and his family well. We’re going to try to find ways to get him out, obviously.”
Daniels wouldn’t say whether the club would have matched the Angels’ offer. Earlier in the day, moments after Hamilton’s agent Mike Moye called to tell him that Hamilton was signing elsewhere, Daniels said the Angels’ offer was more guaranteed money than what the club was talking to Hamilton’s representatives about last week at the Winter Meetings.
Daniels added that he knows Hamilton won’t be easy to replace.
“We’ve lost some power. That much is clear,” Daniels said. “Josh and Napoli had 60-something homers last year. That’s not something you can snap your fingers and get back. I think there are a number of guys on the team that you can reasonably expect more from that have communicated to us that they expect more from themselves. That combination with a young veteran group we have, with some of the young players coming and a strong rotation with young guys that still have upside.”
Daniels expects that at some point he’ll talk with Hamilton, if not now than at spring training.
“Last spring training, Josh had some quote about everyone talking about what the team does for me, but what about what I have done for the team? And that’s the truth. That’s the nature of the relationship. There’s give and take. There’s back and forth. You support each other. If I’m disappointed, that’s what it’s about.
“A five-year deal and a lot of money and a great team like Los Angeles, I don’t begrudge any of that. It’s more just the relationship and how we found out and the communication and the process. I don’t have any issue with him making that decision. I hope it works out well for him and his family. I hope they don’t win, but I hope it works out well for him and his family.”