Josh Hamilton is back with the Texas Rangers after two troubled seasons with the Los Angeles Angels filled with poor performance, injuries and an alcohol and drug relapse.
Less than halfway through a $125 million, five-year contract, Hamilton was traded Monday by the Angels to their A.L. West rival for a player to be named or cash. The Angels and owner Arte Moreno, wanting to rid himself of Hamilton, agreed to pay most of the remaining $80 million Hamilton was owed under the contract, which runs through 2017.
“I played, and played hard when I was there,” Hamilton said during a news conference. “I worked my butt off to be that guy this year going into this season for the Angels. They just didn’t want that to happen for some reason.”
On the 15-day disabled list while recovering from right shoulder surgery on Feb. 4, Hamilton took a physical and will report to the Rangers’ spring training complex in Surprise, Arizona.
“I’m back here. I’m back home,” Hamilton said. “I’m going to give everything I’ve got.”
Hamilton was taken by Tampa Bay with the top pick in baseball’s 1999 amateur draft, but his career was derailed by cocaine and alcohol addictions in the minors. He didn’t play from July 2002 through 2005 because of substance abuse issues that led to multiple suspensions, and he made his major league debut with Cincinnati in 2007.
Hamilton was dealt to Texas in December 2007. He acknowledged a relapse in early 2009 after he was photographed getting drunk in a bar in Arizona. He held a news conference in 2012 to apologize for another night of drinking.
Then he self-reported a relapse with alcohol and cocaine this past offseason. Arbitrator Roberta Golick ruled Major League Baseball could not discipline Hamilton.
Hamilton, who turns 34 on May 21, returns to the team he helped make consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and ’11. He was the 2010 A.L. MVP and an All-Star each of his five seasons with Texas (2008-12).
Rare Wagner card sells for $1.32m
A Honus Wagner T206 baseball card has been auctioned for $1.32 million in online bidding.
Robert Edward Auctions said that 42 bids were placed by Saturday’s deadline for the card, which was rated as a three condition on a scale from one to 10, with 10 the best. The winning bid was for $1.2 million, plus a 20 percent commission.
Names of the buyer and seller were not revealed.
The company said the same card, from 1909 to 1911, had sold for $791,000 at auction in 2008.
The record price for a Wagner T206 American Tobacco Co. card is $2.8 million; it was rated an eight condition.
Protests postpone Orioles-Sox
The Baltimore Orioles’ home game at Camden Yards against the Chicago White Sox was postponed Monday because of safety concerns.
Rioters have looted stores and thrown rocks and bricks at Baltimore police in the wake of the mysterious spinal injury of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. The epicenter of the protests is less than a mile from the ballpark.
Clearing the bases
Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy will miss the rest of the season with a torn elbow ligament. … Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright is out for the season because of a torn left Achilles. … Kansas City Royals RHP Edinson Volquez has dropped his appeal of a five-game suspension for his involvement in a brawl with the Chicago White Sox last week. … Washington RHP Max Scherzer will not make his scheduled start for Washington tonight because of a sprained right thumb. … Tampa Bay acquired LHP Xavier Cedeno from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash. … Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been designated for assignment by the Miami Marlins.
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