Josh Hamilton’s teammates say he’s in great shape and ready to play

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The Angels are in Houston to play the Astros this weekend. Technically, Josh Hamilton is still a member of the Angels, even if the club is acting like he isn’t. Hamilton has met with manager Mike Scioscia and some of his Angels teammates. They are telling remarkably different stories about the condition Josh Hamilton’s condition is in.

Last night Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reported that Mike Scioscia voiced concern over Hamilton, saying that there was “no clarity that [Hamilton is] getting the help he needs,” and that “[t]hat’s a major concern.”

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, that his teammates think Hamilton is in great shape. They say he’s recovered from both his shoulder surgery and whatever substance abuse issues he had. David Freese said that  “from what I hear and what I see, he’s kind of ready to go . . . He’s running, he’s hitting, he’s ready to go physically. He’s doing the things he needs to do to play baseball and taking the necessary steps off the field.” C.J. Wilson goes much further than that. Heck, he sounds like Hamilton’s lawyer or agent or something.

This is significant because, as been reported, owner Arte Moreno thinks he can either claw back money from Hamilton or void his deal altogether due to clauses in Hamilton’s contract. DiGiovanna reports that one possible clause relates to Hamilton not being in “first-class condition” because of substance abuse. Wilson and Freese’s comments make that sound like a hard, hard sell.

There are two sides to every story. Every contract has stuff even the people who have looked it over didn’t notice. All manner of things could be going on in the background which you, I, or anyone else not there, on the ground can know. But I’ll say this much: there has been nothing about this story whatsoever to date which makes Arte Moreno and the Angels’ stance regarding Hamilton seem reasonable. Not a single damn thing.

Report: Mets have discussed Ian Kinsler trade with Tigers

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Jon Morosi reports that the Mets have had preliminary trade discussions with the Tigers concerning veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Kinsler, 35, had the worst season of his career in 2017, finishing with a .236/.313/.412 triple-slash line along with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, 90 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 613 plate appearances. He did, however, have a .244 BABIP, which is 42 points below his career average, so the Mets — and any other interested team — would be banking on a rebound season in 2018.

Kinsler’s 2018 option, worth $10 million, vested when he took his 600th plate appearance in 2017. He can become a free agent after the season.

The Mets need a second baseman or a third baseman and they will use Asdrubal Cabrera at whatever position isn’t addressed. In this case, Cabrera would be the everyday third baseman if the Mets were to acquire Kinsler.