Early Monday afternoon, the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers completed a deal to send Josh Hamilton back to the Lone Star State. Hamilton, in the third year of a five-year. $125 million contract, is currently on the 15-day disable list, rehabbing a right shoulder injury.
In his two seasons with the Angels, Hamilton struggled to live up to his deal. He hit 31 home runs with 123 RBI on a .255/.316/.426 line. That would have been a bad season in his original stint with the Rangers.
Arte Moreno, the owner of the Angels, can go around saying that the reason for trading Hamilton was his on field struggles. That’s just not the case. Yahoo Sports has reported that the Angels’ front office grew tired of Hamilton’s battle with addiction.
“(The Angels) rid themself of Hamilton, all that chases Hamilton and, because there after all are choices, all that Hamilton chases. The Angels traded Hamilton to the Texas Rangers, though ‘traded’ is the official term for a transaction that in reality was an eviction. The Angels will pay all but a few of the $83 million still owed Hamilton and get nothing in return but the satisfaction of knowing they put Hamilton out, that he – Arte Moreno – is not a man to be crossed, and that he – Arte Moreno – will not stand for other people making him – Arte Moreno – look like a gullible fool,” Tim Brown of Yahoo wrote.
Since getting clean in 2005, Hamilton has reportedly relapsed in January 2009, January 2012 and in or around January 2015. Since breaking into the Major Leagues in 2007 and excluding 2014, Hamilton has averaged 34 homers, 116 RBI, while hitting .295/.354/.530. He has been named to five All Star teams and won the American League Most Valuable Player award in 2010. His Rangers went to the World Series in 2009 and 2010.
With just under three years left on his contract, what should the Rangers expect out of Hamilton? Will he return to the All Star form he’s clearly capable of? Are his demons behind him? Is Texas the place for his salvation?
Whatever the case, the Rangers need the help. They are off to a 7-11 start, are in third in the AL West and desperately need an infusion of offensive power in their lineup. Josh Hamilton, at his peak, would look mighty nice in the middle of the order. It should be a wild ride seeing what happens.