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Rangers 'Likely Out' Of Prince Fielder Sweepstakes

Ever since Prince Fielder met with Texas Rangers officials in mid-January, the Rangers have been strongly linked to rumors surrounding the hefty first baseman. Unfortunately for the Rangers, it looks as though they are out of the Fielder sweepstakes, at least according to Bob Nightengale.

The Texas Rangers believe they are out out of the bidding for free-agent slugger Prince Fielder, according to a person with knowledge of the talks, but not authorized to speak publicly because of the ongoing negotiations.

It's premature to count the Rangers out until a contract is signed with another team, but, it doesn't seem likely that the Rangers can commit financially for 2012 to Fielder. Michael Young's contract doesn't come off the books until 2013, and Josh Hamilton's contract doesn't expire until the end of the 2012 season. Young is set to make $16 million in each of the next two seasons, while Hamilton will earn $13.75 million in 2012.

Texas already made a big splash this winter as well, spending over $50 million dollars simply to talk to Yu Darvish, before inking him to a six-year, $56 million dollar contract.

Some Rangers executives believe that signing Hamilton to a long-term extension is preferable to signing Fielder, which is something that could also serve as an impediment to Fielder negotiations.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.