Josh Hamilton expected to make season debut for Rangers next week

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Josh Hamilton is “clearly making progress” and will likely make his season debut for the Rangers early next week, general manager Jon Daniels told the Associated Press.

Hamilton has been playing at Double-A and Triple-A, basically treating it as spring training after February shoulder surgery followed by alcohol and drug relapses led to a trade from the Angels.

Daniels pegged the Rangers’ series against the Indians that begins next Monday as the “more likely” return date for Hamilton, who won an MVP award for Texas in 2010.

Hamilton had back-to-back disappointing seasons for the Angels, but his .741 OPS during that time was still slightly above the MLB average and as recently as 2012 he hit .285 with 43 homers and a .930 OPS in 148 games for the Rangers to finish fifth in the MVP voting.

With the Angels paying nearly all the money Hamilton is owed the Rangers have decided he’s worth taking a low-cost flier on and we’re about to start finding out if it was a smart move.

Brewers sign Freddy Peralta to a multi-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a five-year $15.5 million deal with pitcher Freddy Peralta. There are two club options as well, which would nearly double the overall value of the contract if exercised.

Peralta, who turns 24 in June, has amazing stuff. He has struggled so far, having posted a 4.79 ERA in 163.1 major league innings across two seasons, but people who follow him closely believe that he’s primed for a breakthrough. For now he’s a reliever — he’ll likely be a multi-inning fireman for the 2020 season — but he has was mostly a starter in his rookie year before assuming swingman duties last season. He could become one again if things break right in his development. Sort of a Brandon Woodruff track.

If that happens the Brewers will, quite obviously, have a bargain on their hands. If not, at least Peralta has some security on his.