The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers have agreed on a deal to send outfielder Josh Hamilton back to his former team, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Hamilton and the Angels have finally ended a weak relationship because of a recent drug relapse. The Angels will be receiving a player to be named later or cash in return for Hamilton.
The 33-year-old had a drug relapse that involved cocaine back in February. He dodged a huge bullet after he won grievance and avoided a suspension. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, as well as others associated with the league, were said to be not happy with the outcome.
“The Office of the Commissioner disagrees with the decision,” MLB said in a statement, “and will seek to address deficiencies in the manner in which drugs of abuse are addressed under the Program in the collective bargaining process.”
Hamilton hit .305/.363/.549 with 142 home runs and 506 RBI’s during his five year tenure with Texas. He received All-Star status in each of those five seasons. Hamilton also won the Most Valuable Player award in 2011 after slashing .359/.411/.633 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI’s. The slugger also won three Silver Slugger awards.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Rangers will only have to pay $15 million of the $80 million remaining on Hamilton’s contract through the 2017 season. The exact monetary numbers were not released with the official news release on Monday.
This was a statement released by the Angels about how they feel paying Hamilton’s contract for the 2015 season. Obviously, they took care of that by trading him away.
“The Angels have serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health, and behavior,” Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said, “and we are disappointed that he has broken an important commitment which he made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans. We are going to do everything possible to assure he receives proper help for himself and for the well-being of his family.”
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted him first overall in the 1999 MLB Draft. He debuted on April 2, 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds going 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter in that game. After 90 games with the Reds, he went to the Rangers and then was signed by the Angels later in his career.
Hamilton was forced to take the 2003 season off because of personal reasons. He also was forced to take other pockets of time off due to drug issues involving cocaine. Roy Silver served as Hamilton’s mentor during those tough times and helped him get back to the game he loved.
Hamilton played in 89 games last season after struggling with a few injuries. He hit .263/.331/.414 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI’s.
The return for Hamilton is still unknown, but it quiets a ton of questions regarding his future. Hamilton will need to focus on recovering from offseason surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder.