The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to trade Josh Hamilton to Texas Rangers, according to multiple reports Friday
Yahoo soon after reported the Rangers will pay roughly $15 million of the $80 million remaining on Hamilton's contract, which runs through the 2017 season. It is unclear what Los Angeles will receive in return for Hamilton, and several details of the trade still reportedly need to be worked out.
Hamilton, who in February told Major League Baseball he had relapsed with drugs and alcohol, has been rehabilitating his shoulder in Houston after undergoing surgery on Feb. 3 to repair his acromioclavicular joint.
MLB.com Rangers reporter T.R. Sullivan first reported the news that the teams were close to a deal. The report was confirmed by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Yahoo.
Rangers are willing to take Josh Hamilton back according to sources...No word yet if that will happen. But the Rangers would take him— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) April 24, 2015
Source: Angels deep into discussions with Texas Rangers on trade for Josh Hamilton. Still lots left to do, but that's expected destination.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 24, 2015
The trade would bring the 33-year-old back to the Rangers organization. Hamilton played for Texas from 2008 through 2012.
The news would also mark an apparent change regarding Hamilton's relationship with his teammates and coaches. Last week, an envoy of Angels players and staff, including manager Mike Scioscia, bench coach Dino Ebel, pitcher C.J. Wilson and outfielders Kole Calhoun and David Freese, visited Hamilton in Houston.
Hamilton at the time was said to be in "good spirits" and eager to play baseball. He had been projected to return to the field in May.
On Feb. 26, CBSSports reported Hamilton admitted to Major League Baseball that he used cocaine over this past off-season.
On April 3, Major League Baseball announced it would not suspend Hamilton for his conduct because his behavior did not violate the terms of his treatment program. Later that day, the Angels released a statement in response to MLB's ruling noting that they had serious concerns about Hamilton's health and behavior, and were disappointed that he had broken what it termed an "important commitment which he has made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans."
On April 10, Angels owner Arte Moreno connoted that his team obtained language in the outfielder's December 2012 contract prohibiting him from drug or alcohol use, but an industry source told SI.com Friday Hamilton’s contract does not contain such language allowing the team to void his deal.
In February, Hamilton filed for divorce from his wife. On April 17, the Los Angeles Times reported Hamilton put up his Southern California home for sale.
Hamilton hit .263 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 89 games during the 2014 season. In his most recent season with Texas, Hamilton hit .285 with a career-high 43 home runs and 128 RBI.
- Will Green