The Rangers have activated outfielder Josh Hamilton from the 60-day disabled list and placed him on unconditional release waivers, the team announced on Tuesday.
Hamilton played in just 50 games for the Rangers last year, hitting .252 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs. He underwent surgery on his left knee after the season and had another operation in June, ending his 2016 season before he could even make it on the field.
The veteran said in July that he expects to be ready for the start of spring training next season.
The Angels are on the hook for $26.41 million of the $28.41 million Hamilton is due next season. By releasing Hamilton now, the Rangers will be able to sign him to a minor league contract and bring him up next season when he is ready to play.
“We’ve talked about the possibility with him,” general manager Jon Daniels said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “He understands what the move means and why we did it. I don’t know how it will play out, but he's got family and community reasons to be here. There is mutual desire if things continue to check out to continue the relationship.”
– Kenny Ducey