Texas Rangers Re-Acquire Josh Hamilton

Texas Rangers Re-Acquire Josh Hamilton

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  • The Texas Rangers re-acquired outfielder Josh Hamilton on April 27 for either cash considerations or a player to be named later.

The Texas Rangers re-acquired outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Los Angeles Angels on April 27 for either cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Josh Hamilton is returning to the Texas Rangers.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, The Rangers re-acquired Hamilton from the Los Angeles Angels on Monday “for either cash considerations or a player to be named later.” 

Angels manager Jerry Dipoto told The Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna on April 27 that Hamilton stated he wanted to go back to the Rangers, whom he played for from 2008-12:

“Over the course of the last few weeks, it became clear that Josh wanted to return to Texas. After several discussions with the Rangers, we were able to complete a trade that in the end is the right decision for everyone involved.”

During a news conference on Monday to formally announce Hamilton’s re-signing with the Rangers, he told the media (via ESPN) he’s going to play to the best of his abilities.

“I had a lot of good memories here,” Hamilton told ESPN. “I’m back here. I’m back home. I’m going to give everything I’ve got.” 

Hamilton is still on the disabled list as he is recuperating from shoulder surgery. Texas will send him to their Spring Training facility in Surprise, Ariz. where he will continue his rehabilitation, per Sullivan.

Hamilton is currently staying in shape and taking batting practice at a friend’s residence in Houston. Sullivan reported on Monday that his former Angels teammates visited him 10 days ago when they were in town for a game against the Houston Astros.

Angels pitcher C.J. Wison, who was also Hamilton’s teammate with the Rangers, said he looks “chiseled,” per MLB.com.

Wilson also poured out his sentiments on the Hamilton deal to DiGiovanna on Monday:

“As his friend, it’s unfortunate that it looks like I’m going to have to play against him. But that’s the way it goes. You don’t get to pick your teammates.

“Josh knows that he didn’t play to his potential here. I think it comes down to that. He felt responsible to play up to the contract, because it’s a big contract, obviously, and he scuffled a little bit.”

Sullivan says the Rangers will analyze Hamilton’s progress in Arizona before they send him to their Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express. Hamilton is expected to suit up in several games for the Express before he gets called up to the Rangers.

Texas general manager Jon Daniels told ESPN on Monday he expects Hamilton to be back in a Rangers uniform sometime during the second week of May. 

“At the end of the day, this is a pretty easy decision for us,” Daniels told ESPN. He also called Hamilton “a player we feel can be productive and help us win games.” 

The Rangers “are expected to pick up a small portion of the remainder of Hamilton’s salary,” per Sullivan. As for the Angels, they still owe him an estimated $83 million.

DiGiovanna goes into more detail on the financial side of the Hamilton deal between Texas and Los Angeles:

“The Rangers will reportedly pay less than $7 million of the remaining three years and about $80 million on Hamilton’s contract, and Hamilton will forfeit about $6 million to the Angels to offset the benefit he will derive by playing in Texas, where there is no state income tax.

“So, in effect, the Angels will pay Hamilton about $68 million to play for an American League West rival, a reflection of just how much owner Arte Moreno wanted to rid himself of Hamilton after the player suffered a substance-abuse relapse over the winter.”

Hamilton was a five-time All-Star and 2010 American League Most Valuable Player while still with the Rangers. Even back then, he already had a known history of addiction to alcohol and cocaine, per The Los Angeles Times

Hamilton didn’t live up to expectations when he signed a mammoth five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in 2013. That season, he batted just .250 with 21 home runs and 79 RBIs. The following year, he batted .263 with only 10 home runs and 44 RBIs, per DiGiovanna.

Hamilton’s tenure with the Angels reached a new low when he went hitless in 13 at-bats against the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American League Division Series. Angels fans eventually booed him when he was at the plate. The Royals swept the Angels to advance to the ALCS, per The Los Angeles Times.

Hamilton then underwent right shoulder surgery on Feb. 4 before informing the league he had suffered a relapse of his addiction. An arbitrator ruled in his favor two months later, saying he did not violate his drug treatment program, per DiGiovanna.

That meant he didn’t have to undergo rehab and be suspended by the league, incurring the ire of Angels management. According to The Los Angeles Times, team president John Carpino said the ruling “defies logic” while Dipoto expressed “serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health and behavior.”

For his part, Angels owner Arte Moreno didn’t mention anything about Hamilton playing for his team again, per DiGiovanna.

Hamilton “also recently filed for a divorce from his wife, Katie,” per The Los Angeles Times update. 

The 33-year-old Hamilton has amassed 1,091 hits, 192 home runs and 676 RBIs on a .292 batting average in 977 career regular-season games for the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels, per ESPN stats

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