Tag: Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton

Rangers hoping to activate Josh Hamilton in late May


Josh Hamilton has gone through a couple workouts at the Rangers’ extended spring training complex in Arizona and everyone involved seems happy with how he looks physically following February shoulder surgery.

Hamilton told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that he’s basically treating this time as his March, “trying to do all the stuff I usually do in spring training, so I can be ready to roll.”

Outfield instructor Dwayne Murphy said: “I like what I see from him, especially the eagerness to play. I have to put the reins on him because he wants to do a lot more.”

As for when Hamilton might actually play for the Rangers, general manager Jon Daniels indicated that the targeted return timetable is late May. Next time the Rangers play the Angels? July 3-5, in Texas.

Josh Hamilton sent a video of himself hitting to the Rangers back in March

Josh Hamilton Getty

This is interesting. Today, at Rangers camp in Surprise, Arizona, Josh Hamilton told reporters that he sent a video of him hitting back in March, presumably to show them that he was healthy. Hamilton said, “I sent video to the Rangers of me hitting March 9, full-go,” according to Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register.

The first questions this raises, of course, is one of tampering of some kind. As in, were Hamilton and/or the Rangers trying to get something done back then? Maybe not, based on the circumstances:

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram cited a source saying Hamilton’s video was sent to former teammate Michael Young, now a special assistant, and it was just two friends exchanging video, rather than Hamilton trying to manipulate a trade.

Michael Young is important, but he’s not making decisions for the Rangers. And, of course, Hamilton was persona non grata with the Angels. At most, it seems, this was a “see, I’m healthy” sort of thing. Which Hamilton backed at his press conference yesterday when he said that if he had been allowed to be with the Angels and rehab during spring training he’d be playing now.

Still, as Fletcher notes, the Angels may not be happy about his even if they’re not commenting on it now:

However, it’s not likely the Angels front office would have been happy with Hamilton sending the video if they knew about it. If Hamilton was lobbying the Rangers to acquire him, it could have affected what little leverage the Angels may have to had to make the best deal possible.

Rather rich, one thinks, given that the Angels were doing more than anyone could expect them to have done to eviscerate their own leverage during this time. If they had treated him like they should have, he may have been seen as a far more marketable player than he was perceived to be. And, as Fletcher also notes, this whole episode suggests that the Angels have been lying about Hamilton’s baseball readiness, which was their putative reason for keeping him away from the team.

My guess is that nothing comes of this. Except maybe some serious drama if the Rangers and Angels are playing meaningful games against one another down the stretch.

Source: Josh Hamilton rejected a trade to a National League team because he wanted to go back to Texas

hamilton getty

A source familiar with the Josh Hamilton trade negotiations tells HardballTalk that, prior to the deal to send him to the Rangers, the Angels had put together a trade that would’ve sent Hamilton to a National League team. Hamilton rejected the deal, however, because he waned to return to Texas.

The source further tells HardballTalk that, if Hamilton had accepted the trade to the NL team, the financial and/or contractual circumstances of the deal may have been better for him there than those under which he agreed to go to Texas.

Hamilton possessed a full no-trade clause under the deal he signed with Anaheim prior to the 2013 season. At the time the potential deal with the National League club was presented to him, Hamilton was aware of the Rangers’ interest. The source tells HardballTalk that the Rangers were “always around” since the notion of trading Hamilton emerged as a possibility.

During Hamilton’s introductory press conference which  just concluded, Hamilton said that the Rangers were his “first choice” when it became apparent that he’d be traded. He added that “If I could change the past . . . I probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere, I would’ve stayed here.”

This may explain, in part, why the Angels are eating so much of Hamilton’s contract.

Did the Angels shoot themselves in the foot in the Josh Hamilton situation?

Jerry Dipoto, Arte Moreno

The deal is done and Josh Hamilton is heading to Texas. The Rangers are paying less than $7 million for the guy, which is a great deal even if Hamilton performs at the level he’s shown in Anaheim the past two years. If, however, his health and sense of well-being are such that he’s able to approach his old level, the Rangers have themselves an absolute steal. No matter what happens, the Angels are paying Hamilton tens of millions of dollars to simply go away.

And I can’t help but think that’s their own damn fault.

While Rob Manfred continues to maintain that the Angels did not leak the fact of Hamilton’s drug relapse and the disciplinary hearing against him to the media, logic suggests that they’re the prime candidates. And even if they didn’t, the fact of the matter is that Angels officials gave multiple public comments about Hamilton in the wake of all of this, most of it negative, much of it suggesting that Hamilton has little or no value at the moment. He’s broken and sick and he’s the sort of person we don’t even want near our club, let alone on it, the Angels’ words and actions seem to have said.

There are always things that happen in negotiations we in the public don’t know about, but is it that hard to believe that, given how badly the Angels sandbagged Josh Hamilton and how clear they made it that they wanted to be rid of him that Jon Daniels realized he had a good bit of leverage here? Is it not reasonable to suggest that, had Hamilton’s issues remained confidential, they could’ve gotten a better deal for him? Not because the Rangers wouldn’t know — they’d have access to his medical history and, I presume, would be told of his relapse — but because the public wouldn’t. And if they didn’t Jon Daniels would not be able to tell Jerry Dipoto “hey, you gotta help me sell this deal to my fan base.” With said sale being a very low price tag to take on a guy perceived as damaged goods.

It’s all speculation on my part, I realize. Like I said, there are always things in these deals we do not know. But from where I’m sitting, I can’t see a lick of benefit the Angels got from publicly denigrating their player and I can’t see how this deal is particularly good for the Angels.

Maybe those things go together, maybe they don’t. But it’s hard to see what good came of the Angels’ peculiar approach to Josh Hamilton since February.

Deal done: Josh Hamilton traded to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations

Josh Hamilton

On Friday it was reported that the Angels and Rangers had agreed to a trade for Josh Hamilton. The deal is now done and the details announced: it’s for a player to be named later or cash considerations. There will be a press conference at 4:30 Eastern time, and presumably the details will be confirmed then or shortly thereafter.

As for now, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers will “pick up a small portion” of the remainder of Hamilton’s salary with the Angels responsible for the rest of the $83 million still owed. On Friday it was reported that the Rangers’ amount could be as low as $7 million for the remaining three years. There have also been reports that Hamilton can opt-out of his deal after the 2016 season.

Which, boy-howdy, is not a lot for a guy who could still be a good player. It basically means the Angels just gave up on the guy and gave up on their belief, however erroneous it was, that they could go after Hamilton for the money they still owed him under some sort of “bad behavior” clause in his deal. Now the Angels will be on the hook for the vast majority of the money he is owed and get nothing, it seems, in return.

Of course, given the events of the past several weeks, one suspects that Hamilton and the Angels would do just about anything to be rid of one another.

Following Hamilton’s admission of a drug relapse in late February, Major League Baseball held an arbitration in order to determine if he should be disciplined. Hamilton prevailed and faced no punishment, but the Angels were clearly dissatisfied with the results. In the wake of the ruling, multiple team officials issued public statements criticizing the arbitrator’s ruling and Hamilton’s behavior. Since then, Angels owner Arte Moreno has refused to state publicly if Hamilton would ever play for the Angels again. Hamilton’s locker was given to another player and all Hamilton merchandise had been removed from the Angels’ team store. Two weeks ago it was reported that Hamilton had placed his Orange County home up for sale.

Moreno has suggested to the press that the Angels possessed the legal right to claw back money from Hamilton pursuant to special substance abuse provisions in Hamilton’s contract and language which requires that Hamilton be in “first-class condition.” Sources familiar with the contract told NBC Sports two weeks ago, however, that no such provisions exist which would supersede the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement. The players union has likewise said that Joint Drug Agreement, which Hamilton has been found not to have violated, trumps any contract language to which Moreno may be referring. Last week Hamilton’s teammates who met with him in his Houston-area home told the Los Angeles Times that Hamilton was in excellent physical condition and eager to begin playing again.

This deal puts an end to that acrimony. And puts Josh Hamilton back in Texas, where he rose to his greatest heights as a major leaguer. In five seasons with the Rangers Hamilton hit .305/.363/.549 with 142 home runs and 506 RBI. He led the Rangers to two American League pennants and won the 2010 MVP award and batting title while likewise leading the league in OPS.

While Hamilton’s exit from Texas was a rocky one, a lot has happened since then. Hamilton, following two awful seasons and this latest drama, has been humbled. The Rangers are no longer a winning team. A reunion may not make the most baseball sense, but a commitment of only $7 million for a potential impact bat is not that much, and the reunion may not be the worst thing for a club and a player each of which could use something of a fresh start.