The Josh Hamilton trade between the Angels and Rangers isn’t official yet, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has some details on the specifics. The upshot? The Rangers will only be responsible for less than $7 million over the next three years and their commitment could end up being less than that.
In order to satisfy the Players Association, which tries to ensure maximum value of contracts for its players, Hamilton will also be given an opt-out clause after two years, sources said. That qualifies as an “extra benefit” for the player that would allow some modification of the deal. If he were to opt out, the Rangers commitment would be reduced further to perhaps less than $5 million.
Hamilton began this season with about $80.2 million remaining on his contract. The Angels are reportedly willing to cover $68 million of his remaining salary in order to turn the page on the situation. Meanwhile, Hamilton has agreed to forfeit $6 million as part of the trade, but it basically works out as a wash due to the difference in state income tax.
This is a no-brainer deal for the Rangers, who could be getting a bargain in Hamilton if he proves to be anything close to a productive player coming back from his relapse and shoulder surgery. While his tenure with the Angels will be viewed as a disappointment, he had a 110 OPS+ from 2013-2014. He could thrive in his return to Texas. The baseball aspect aside, it should also help to be back in a supportive environment.
Good news here for the Nationals, as third baseman Anthony Rendon began a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg last night as he works his way back from a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee.
Rendon, who hurt his knee on a diving play in early March, played five innings at third base last night and went 1-for-2 with a double. He told James Wagner of the Washington Post that the pain is gone in his knee and he’s now trying to shake the rust and make up for lost time.
“Everything is good,” he said. “Getting back into the swing of things and trying to feel comfortable.”
Rendon will play seven innings today before getting the day off Sunday. He’ll then play seven innings again before staying in for a full game. He could be ready to join the Nationals for the start of a four-game series against the Mets next Thursday at Citi Field.
The Nationals weren’t at full strength to begin the year and have sputtered to a 7-10 start, but getting Rendon back in the lineup will be a big lift. While he didn’t get as much attention as he deserved, he proved to be the team’s most valuable player last season by batting .287/.351/.473 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI, and 17 stolen bases.
UPDATE: Zobrist confirmed to Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com that he will have knee surgery. He’s hoping to be back in 4-6 weeks.
1:01 p.m. ET: Ben Zobrist was back in the Athletics’ starting lineup last night for the first time since Sunday, but he didn’t feel right and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with what is being termed as a left medial meniscus tear.
Zobrist received a cortisone shot in the knee earlier this week and hoped to play through the injury, but he hinted at the possibility of surgery if it wasn’t successful. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, typical recovery time for a cleanup procedure is about 3-6 weeks. That wouldn’t be too bad under the circumstances, but he’ll be missed in Oakland’s lineup.
The A’s called up infielder Max Muncy from Triple-A Nashville to take Zobrist’s place on the active roster while left-hander Eury De La Rosa was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer was a late-scratch from his scheduled start against the Tigers this afternoon due to illness. TJ House will start in his place.
Bauer attempted to do some long-tossing during warm-ups, but just didn’t feel up to it. It’s unclear when he’ll pitch next. Carlos Carrasco was pulled after five innings during his most recent start due to “general tightness,” but he’s currently lined up to go tomorrow.
Bauer has thrived despite control issues early this season, posting a 0.95 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks in 19 innings across his first three starts.
Six players have been suspended as a result of Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl between the White Sox and Royals. Here are the details from MLB:
From the Royals:
Yordano Ventura: Seven-game suspension
Edinson Volquez: Five-game suspension
Lorenzo Cain: Two-game suspension
Kelvin Herrera: Two-game suspension
From the White Sox:
Chris Sale: Five-game suspension
Jeff Samardzija: Five-game suspension
All of the players listed above also received an undisclosed fine, but a five-game suspension for a starting pitcher isn’t much of a punishment. While Tyler Flowers was not suspended, he was fine an undisclosed amount. Interestingly, no punishment for Adam Eaton. Assuming the suspensions aren’t appealed, they would begin Sunday.
UPDATE: White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com that Sale and Samardzija will appeal their suspensions.