Josh Hamilton aims to return around May 23-25

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Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register reports that Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton took one-handed swings Wednesday in Anaheim for the first time since undergoing surgery April 11 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

Hamilton will move his rehab to the Angels’ spring training complex in Arizona on Friday — where he will begin easing back into other baseball-related activities. The 32-year-old slugger hopes to return to Anaheim’s active roster the weekend of May 23-25.

Hamilton was off to a hot start this season, batting .444/.545/.741 with two home runs and six RBI through eight game. He posted a disappointing .250/.307/.432 slash line with 21 homers and 79 RBI in 2013.

Raul Ibanez is currently serving as the Angels’ regular left fielder at age 41.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.