Texas Rangers release Josh Hamilton after yet another knee injury

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Josh Hamilton, on a minor league deal with the Rangers, left spring training in late February with a bum knee on which he had surgery. Turns out that, during rehab from that surgery, he injured it again. He was already supposed to be out for 2-3 months, and given the setback the Rangers have done the inevitable: the released him.

The latest setback would likely call for the fourth major procedure on his knee since the end of the 2015 season. He’s had many more knee surgeries in his career as it is. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. At this point you have to ask whether all of that cutting and scoping is going to impact not just his athletic career but his quality of life after baseball.

In light of that, this all but certainly ends Hamilton’s baseball career. An improbable career that, at one point, no one ever thought would get going due to is severe substance abuse issues as a minor leaguer in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays system. But after a late start with the Reds, Hamilton went on to be one of the best players in the game for a time, making five All-Star teams and winning the 2010 MVP Award with the Rangers. He signed a huge contract with the Angels before the 2013 season, but only managed one full season with them during which his production fell off sharply.

If this is the end for Hamilton, it was certainly an interesting playing career. Here’s hoping that whatever he does next brings him peace and joy.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.