It’s official: Josh Hamilton is a Texas Ranger again. The Angels will receive “cash considerations or a player to be named later,” or, in the common parlance, nothing. They will also send along an absurdly large amount of money just to be done with Hamilton. And they deserve to lose every zero on those checks.
Hamilton still has nearly three years left on the five-year, $125 million contract that goes down as the worst in baseball history (for now). Prorated, he’s still owed about $83 million through 2017, but after his drug-and-alcohol relapse and the Angels’ failed and flagrant attempt to get Hamilton suspended and the deal voided, they were stuck with an untenable situation of their own creation.
So, what’d it cost them to get the Rangers to agree to take on Hamilton? Oh, just a little more than 90 percent of Hamilton’s remaining salary.
Make no mistake, here: the Angels boned themselves, and hard. Potential trading partners only knew of their desperation because they leaked classified details of Hamilton’s hearing in a venal attempt to get him suspended. His trade value became so low only because they themselves spiked it.
I hope Hamilton, who remains on the disabled list after offseason shoulder surgery, gets himself well. I hope the Rangers, where Hamilton has found his greatest success and personal happiness, provide him with what he needs. I hope no future free agent with a choice ever considers Arte Moreno’s Angels.
Update: It’s been reported that Hamilton will relinquish some of his salary. The exact amount isn’t known, but if true, that would mean the Angels would remain on the hook for a smaller amount than the numbers discussed above. (One report from Friday put it at $68 million.) Our headline has been updated to reflect this.