The Texas Rangers released Josh Hamilton today. On the surface the move looks like the Rangers are parting ways with Hamilton for good, but there may be more to it than that. Hamilton was traded back to the Rangers from the Los Angeles Angels at the beginning of last season. It was a homecoming for Hamilton who played a major role for the Rangers, and their World Series runs. Hamilton has missed the entire 2016 season due to reconstructive knee surgery.
Josh Hamilton’s Future With The Rangers
There is a silver lining for both sides though. His release today doesn’t mean that Hamilton has seen his last days with the organization. General manager Jon Daniels was smart in making the decision to cut him before September 1st. Releasing Hamilton today allowed Daniels to leave the option open to re-sign him to a minor league contract to begin next season. They would then be able to call him up by May 15th of next season.
Evan Grant a staff writer for Sportsday.dallasnews.com quoted Jon Daniels as saying, “We plan to monitor Josh’s progress as he continues his rehab process, and is medically cleared this winter.” He went on to say, “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.”
While it may have shocked some fans, it shouldn’t have. The move was completely about business for both sides. Hamilton has before stated that he was open starting off next season with a minor league contract. He also said he was willing to attempt to win a job on the major league roster. Daniels heard that, and exercised a rule that would help both sides out. The ball is in Hamilton’s court now. He is going to have to work hard to get, and stay healthy. He is a competitor though so don’t be surprised if he is back in Arlington on May 15th next season.
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 14: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers reacts after doubling in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 14, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)