The Texas Rangers have activated Josh Hamilton, who has not played a single game this season due to a knee injury. He’s been placed on the unconditional release waivers, and the plan is for him to sign a minor league deal with the team next season.
Hamilton is up for such an arrangement, actually saying last month that he expects to be released, and then signed on a minor league deal in the winter. The Rangers will monitor him and wait for his rehab to be complete, per general manager Jon Daniels:
We plan to monitor Josh’s progress as he continues his rehab process and is medically cleared this winter. 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.
Hamilton is actually playing, and being released, on the Los Angeles dime. He made $22.7 million last season with the Rangers, $20.7 million of it coming from the Angels. Of the $56.8 million he’s making in 2016 and 2017 (although he’ll be released), $52.8 million of it will be paid by the Angels.
Hamilton played 50 games for the Rangers last season, hitting 8 home runs in 182 plate appearances, batting .253 with a .732 OPS. From 2008 to 2012 he made five All-Star games with Texas, winning one MVP award, three silver slugger awards, smashing 142 home runs, batting .305 with a .902 OPS, helping Texas make the World Series in 2010 and 2011.
The Rangers aren’t releasing him at the end of the season because that would mean he wouldn’t be eligible to play for them until May 15 of next season.