Josh Hamilton will be returning to the Texas Rangers. Today, the five-time all-star and three-time Silver Slugger award winner signed a minor-league contract. He missed the entire 2016 as he was rehabbing his surgically-repaired knee. He was released last August.
Hamilton is set to make over $24 million in 2017 as he is entering the final year of the five-year, $125 million contract he signed with the Los Angeles Angels in the 2012 off-season. When the Angels sent him to Arlington, they agreed to pay a majority of the rest of his salary. According to Jeff Wilson, if Hamilton makes the main roster, he’ll make the league minimum. And, of course, he’ll collect the rest of the money he’s owed from his blockbuster contract with the Angels. The Texas Rangers invited him to Spring Training and he has an opportunity for a spot on the 40-man roster.
In 2015, Hamilton played in just 50 games. He finished with 43 hits, 25 RBIs, eight homers, and a .253 batting average. He would miss significant time due to injuries, which of course followed him to the 2016 season, eventually forcing him into undergoing season-ending surgery on his knee. In Spring Training, Hamilton will learn to play first base. It’s said that Hamilton’s switching of positions is an effort to keep him healthy.
I am pleased with the re-signing of Hamilton. He’s obviously not the same player he was years ago, but there’s no doubt he can be a very useful asset again. Provided, of course, that he can stay healthy. In any case, Hamilton needs to give it his all and prove that he still is capable of playing baseball at a high level.
Right now, it’s unsure on the possibility of him making the main roster. The Rangers should not rush him in Spring Training. They don’t want to risk him re-injuring his knee. They don’t want to risk him getting injured period. In other words, Hamilton needs to take his time and the Rangers need to take their time with him.
Hamilton, himself, stated that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. I think he still has some baseball left in him. The biggest question on him at the moment is whether or not he can stay healthy. A few weeks ago, it was reported by Jeff Wilson that Hamilton would work out with the Texas Rangers. If everything was to have gone well, he would certainly be re-signed.
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Obviously, since he was re-signed, the workout went better than expected and Hamilton’s knee seems to be 100 percent. By any means, it’s honestly great to have Josh back in the Texas Rangers organization.