Josh Hamilton is once again a free agent. It was reported on Tuesday by ESPN that the Texas Rangers have placed the injury prone outfielder on an unconditional release/ They left the chance of Hamilton possibly rejoining the team on a minor league deal in 2017.
While unconditional releases are seen in baseball, it is not an often approach that a team would take. An unconditional release is when a team decides they have no more usage for a player. They then place the player on waivers and if all the other teams end up passing on the player, then they become a free agent. However if a player is claimed, then the team that claims the player is responsible for the remainder of the contract.
Back in June, he went season- ending surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. After it was a successful surgery he said that he will be fully healthy and ready to go in Spring Training next year. The big question is will it be for Texas or another team. The 35 year-old outfielder was activated off the 60-day DL and was automatically placed on waivers.
There is a actual reason why the Texas Rangers place Hamilton on the 60- day DL when they did. By placing him on waivers now, he is allowed to have the opportunity to return to Texas on a non-roster invite to Spring Training.
On the other hand, if Texas waited until after August and he was brought back to Texas, he would not be able to play until after May 15,2017. As Rangers GM Jon Daniels said in a press conference to reporters that he had discussed the move with Hamilton, with their most recent conversation occurring on Tuesday.
There are few things to be considered about the Rangers or any team signing Josh Hamilton. For starters, he is 35 years old and is not getting younger. If a team does sign him, I could see them pushing for Hamilton to be the DH. He can’t give the defense that he use to and when he is not injured, he has been known as being one of the better hitters in the game. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.