Ryan discusses Hamilton's future
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
HOUSTON (AP) Texas Rangers star slugger Josh Hamilton insists he isn't worried about his impending free agency.
Team president Nolan Ryan certainly is.
Hamilton, who is eligible for free agency after this season, said before the start of Friday's series with the Houston Astros that he's not worrying about it "at all."
"I'm praying a lot about it," the deeply religious player said. "God will show up and I'll be here or somewhere else. It's not about where I want to be, it's about where he wants me to be."
Ryan said they'll put their "best foot forward" to keep the MLB home run leader. But that "you don't know what somebody else might do."
He laughed and shook his head when asked how important Hamilton was to his team.
"Those kinds of players don't come along very often. You can count them on one hand - those kinds of impact players like that," Ryan said. "So he's definitely a very special player that means an awful lot to any organization and very much to our organization. We're going to make every effort to do what we can do, whether that works out or not, we'll just have to wait and see."
Ryan said general manager Jon Daniels was in contact with Hamilton's people in the offseason and in spring training. They're not currently discussing his future because they don't want it to be a distraction to Hamilton.
Ryan expects that something will be decided in late November or early December. He said he couldn't predict what the Rangers' chances are of keeping Hamilton, who turns 31 on Monday.
Hamilton, who is making $13.75 million this season, said the process isn't difficult for him because of his faith. Ryan believes that Hamilton wants to remain with the Rangers, but the left fielder said the decision is out of his hands.
"I've got faith in God and I trust God and I want to do his will more than mine," Hamilton said. "I don't necessarily want to do what's comfortable for me or my family. If he asks us to leave and go somewhere else, it might not be comfortable. But you know what? That's going to bring me closer to him and make me have a better relationship with him."
Hamilton entered Friday's game with 18 homers and 45 RBIs.
Updated May 18, 2012