Source: Josh Hamilton’s contract does not have any special provisions regarding substance abuse

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Earlier this evening Angels owner Arte Moreno told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that the Angels have language in Josh Hamilton’s contract regarding a drug relapse and the club may try to enforce it, suggesting that they’ll claw back money, void his deal or something in that vein.

I’m not sure what Moreno is on about here, but I spoke with a source familiar with Josh Hamilton’s contract this evening who tells me that Hamilton’s contract has language regarding substance abuse that is no different than that contained in Albert Pujols’ deal, Mike Trout’s deal and every other Angels’ player’s deal. Specifically, boilerplate about banned substances that are all subservient to that which is contained in the Joint Drug Agreement and Collective Bargaining Agreement. There are no special riders or provisions specific to Josh Hamilton or his drug history. To the extent Moreno is claiming otherwise, he is wrong.

It’s possible that this boilerplate is giving Moreno hope, but it’s likely no different than the general “good citizen” language in players’ contracts which people sometimes claim would allow a team to void a deal based on off-the-field conduct, but which those inside the game know would never fly with an arbitrator.

Everything coming from the Angels’ camp since the Josh Hamilton news broke has appeared to be nothing short of a public temper tantrum. This appears to be much of the same.

UPDATE: The union says just as much:

Report: Astros offer one-year contract to Charlie Morton

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The Astros have made a contract offer of one year with an option to free agent pitcher Charlie Morton, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports. The amount of the contract offer is not known, but would likely be less than the $17.9 million qualifying offer the Astros failed to make to him.

Morton, 35, had the best season of his career in 2018, going 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA and a 201/64 K/BB ratio in 167 innings. It is likely the peak in what has been a late-career reinvention that started at the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh, persisted through an injury-shortened stint with the Phillies, and continued over the last two years with the Astros. Morton’s delivery, which famously mimics that of the late Roy Halladay, has seen his strikeout rate rise from middling to elite rates while his fastball velocity climbed from the low-90’s to the mid-90’s.

Despite Morton’s reinvention, he is likely going to have to settle for short-term deals due to his age and durability issues. 2018 was the first time in his career he crossed the 30-start threshold.