Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Former American League MVP Josh Hamilton is
reportedly headed back to the Texas Rangers.
According to several media reports, the Angels are set to trade Hamilton to
the Rangers, with a possible announcement coming Monday.
The Angels are reportedly going to pay about $65 million of the $83 million
that is owed to Hamilton through the 2017 season. A source told MLB.com that
no players are expected to go to the Angels in the proposed trade.
The trade would conclude atenuous relationship Hamilton’s had with the
Angels. He hasn’t played this season and has been in Houston recovering from
surgery in early February to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder when
reports began to surface about his drug relapse.
Earlier this month it was disclosed Hamilton would not face discipline from
Major League Baseball following his recent relapse into substances of abuse.
An arbitrator was called in to decide the case.
The veteran outfielder was suspended for three seasons between 2003-05 for
well-documented issues with substance-abuse and undergoes regular drug testing
as a condition of his reinstatement into baseball in 2005.
Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto released a statement following the ruling
saying, “the Angels have serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health and
behavior and we are disappointed that he has broken an important commitment
which he made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans.”
The 33-year-old slugger beat his early addiction problems and became one of
the game’s most feared hitters over a five-year span with the Texas Rangers
from 2008-12. Hamilton was named an AL All-Star in each of those seasons and
captured the league’s MVP award in 2010 when he batted .359 with 32 homers and
100 RBI and helped the Rangers to the World Series.
Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in December
of 2012, but had a disappointing first season with the club and was limited to
just 89 games by injuries last year.
The 1999 No. 1 overall pick managed just 10 homers and 44 RBI along with a
.263 average in 2014, missing nearly two months with a calf strain and most of
September with shoulder problems. Hamilton returned for the AL Division
Series, but was hitless in 13 at-bats as the Angels were swept by Kansas City.
Hamilton admitted to having brief relapses with alcohol in both 2009 and 2012,
though those incidents were not punishable under MLB’s current drug policy.