The Angels have officially unloaded Josh Hamilton, but the same can’t be said for most of the troubled slugger’s contract. General Manager Jerry Dipoto announced on Monday that Hamilton, 33, will return to the Texas Rangers, where he was an All-Star in each of his five seasons before signing a five-year, $125 million deal to join the Angels following the 2012 season.
The Angels will pay $68 million of the nearly $83 million remaining on Hamilton’s deal, according to the Dallas Morning News, which reported the Rangers would pay $6 million of Hamilton’s deal and the slugger would forfeit about $6 million because he doesn’t have to pay state income tax in Texas.
Dipoto said attempts to trade Hamilton have been ongoing for three months, a timeline that suggests Hamilton’s self-reported drug and alcohol relapse is likely the event that prompted the aggressive attempts to move the 2010 AL MVP. It’s not surprising that Dipoto would divulge the timeline give the Angels’ public expression of anger after Hamilton wasn’t punished by MLB for his relapse.
Read the full story about Hamilton’s trade, including his response to disappointment about the relapse openly expressed by Angels owner Arte Moreno, who “knew the deal when he signed me,” Hamilton said.
C.J. Wilson said the tightness in his elbow that prevented him from making his scheduled start on Thursday began in the fourth or fifth inning of his April 18 start in Houston. Wilson allowed two runs in the game, one each in the sixth and seventh innings of a 4-0 loss to the Astros.
The Angels No. 2 starter could have started Thursday if necessary, but preferred to push his appearance to Saturday against Texas in place of Matt Shoemaker, who left the team Wednesday after the death of his grandfather.
“It’s a little stiff, but it’ll be good in a couple of days,” Wilson said of his left elbow. “It just didn’t rebound well from my last start. If I go out there and throw up a duck then that doesn’t do anybody any good and it taxes the bullpen. So a little bit of extra rest every once in a while is good for a pitcher.”
Matt Joyce wasn’t just dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the Angels batting order Wednesday and Thursday because the lefty was facing right-handed starting pitchers. The left fielder began the season 7 for his first 46 (.152) since the Angels acquired him in an offseason trade that sent reliever Kevin Jepsen to Tampa Bay. Accordingly, Angels manager Mike Scioscia is trying to take some pressure off Josh Hamilton’s replacement.
“That’s part of it, yeah,” Scioscia said. “Matt just needs to take a half-step back so we moved him down in the order and hopefully he’ll start to find some timing and find some confidence. His at-bats early on, it looked like he was starting to come but right now he’s going the other direction.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted on Wednesday his estimate of Josh Hamilton’s arrival to the Angels training complex in Arizona “later this week” may have been premature. Scioscia denied there was any confusion within the organization despite reports of general manager Jerry Dipoto disagreeing with Scioscia’s timetable for Hamilton.
“No mixed messages,” Scioscia said. “I think the process is starting with Josh this week. I think that the timetable for him to get to Arizona is really fluid, but could happen this weekend, could happen next week, but the process is there.”