The Texas Rangers have cut ties with Josh Hamilton after an injury-plagued season, although his career with the club might not be over.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explained the situation:
Hamilton didn't play a single major league game in 2016, beginning the year on the disabled list before undergoing season-ending knee surgery in May. The Rangers gave him a chance to rehab with them on the 60-day DL, but the latest move allows them to clear a roster space while also leaving open the chance to re-sign the outfielder in 2017.
According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, this move was not a surprise for anyone involved:
It remains to be seen if Hamilton will get a new contract over the winter, but Texas will at least keep him in mind.
"We plan to monitor Josh's progress as he continues his rehab process and is medically cleared this winter," general manager Jon Daniels said, per ESPN.com. "Given the rules in place, releasing him before the end of this month allows us to keep the door open to extending the relationship in the future."
The 35-year-old outfielder went to five All-Star Games with the Rangers from 2008-12 before signing a massive five-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. After struggling through two seasons with the Angels, he was traded back to Texas where he hit .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 50 games in 2015.
If the Rangers re-sign him for next year, they will likely hope he can regain some of the power that made him the 2010 American League MVP.
As Greg Tepper of Fox Sports Southwest noted, the financial responsibility still lies with the Angels:
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Los Angeles will also pay Hamilton $26.41 million in 2017.
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