Report: MLB panel split on rehab for Josh Hamilton; one-year suspension is in play

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A four-person panel appointed by Major League Baseball to decide how Josh Hamilton should be handled following his recent relapse that involved at least cocaine has reportedly reached a stalemate.

According to Mike DiGiovanna and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the four arbitrators — two of them lawyers, two physicians — are “deadlocked” in their opinion about whether Hamilton should be entered into a drug rehabilitation program. A fifth person will likely be brought in to break the tie.

This decision has big financial implications for Hamilton, as explained by DiGiovanna and Shaikin …

Hamilton is scheduled to make $25 million this season. He is in the third year of a five-year, $125-million deal with the Angels. If he is sent into a rehabilitation program, he would be owed his full salary for 30 days, then half his salary for the next 30 days — a total of $6.2 million. If he is suspended and not in treatment, he would not be paid.

Major League Baseball also still has to decide how to classify Hamilton — as a first-time drug offender or a fourth-time offender. If he’s considered a fourth-time offender, “at least one full season” is the recommended suspension length. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred gets the true final say.

CALCATERRA: If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended