Over the weekend it was reported that the Angels and Josh Hamilton were in talks that would, somehow, resolve his situation. Those talks could include trade talks. Or talks about how and when to let him rejoin the team. Money could’ve been on the table. They could’ve been adversarial or not.
But today the Los Angeles Times is reporting that, whatever else may happen to Hamilton — and the team going after him for money is apparently still on the table — the Angels are trying to put in place a path back to the team for him. Bill Shaikin:
Under the tentative plan, Hamilton would report to the Angels’ Arizona training complex for two to three weeks of work with the team’s extended spring program. He would then proceed to a minor league rehabilitation assignment and could rejoin the Angels thereafter.
“Thereafter” being early June.
This would be a lot more encouraging, I think, if Arte Moreno or someone in charge there would drop the silly farce in which they think they can void Hamilton’s deal because of his drug lapse and if they’d make some sort of gesture which suggests that (a) they care about the guy as a person; and (b) might have a scintilla of regret for the way they’ve trashed him publicly in the past month or two. But as it is, this comeback plan seems just as premised on the fact that C.J. Cron and Collin Cowgill aren’t hitting well, so maybe they should hedge their bets.
Which has sort of been the thread all along here for the Angels, actually. Their anger at Hamilton is due to his specific facts — he makes a lot of money and hasn’t played well — rather than any set of principles or scruples they have as club. Now, his potential return to the team is, it seems, premised on the fact that he may be a less-odious option than Cron or Cowgill, not because allowing him to rejoin the team is the right and proper thing to do.