Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have traded outfielder Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
The Angels are reportedly going to pay about $68 million of the $83 million that is owed to Hamilton, a former AL MVP, through the 2017 season. No players are expected to be included in the deal.
The trade concludes a tenuous relationship Hamilton's had with the Angels. He has not played this season and has been in Houston recovering from surgery in early February to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder when reports began to surface about his drug relapse.
Earlier this month it was disclosed Hamilton would not face discipline from Major League Baseball following his recent relapse into substances of abuse. An arbitrator was called in to decide the case.
The veteran outfielder was suspended between Feb. 2004 and June 2006 for well-documented issues with substance abuse and undergoes regular drug testing as a condition of his reinstatement into baseball in 2006.
Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto released a statement following the ruling saying, "the Angels have serious concerns about Josh's conduct, health and behavior and we are disappointed that he has broken an important commitment which he made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans."
The 33-year-old slugger beat his early addiction problems and became one of the game's most feared hitters over a five-year span with the Texas Rangers from 2008-12. Hamilton was named an AL All-Star in each of those seasons and captured the league's MVP award in 2010 when he batted .359 with 32 homers and 100 RBI and helped the Rangers to the World Series.
Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in December of 2012, but had a disappointing first season with the club and was limited to just 89 games by injuries last year.
The 1999 No. 1 overall pick managed just 10 homers and 44 RBI along with a .263 average in 2014, missing nearly two months with a thumb injury and most of September with shoulder problems. Hamilton returned for the AL Division Series, but was hitless in 13 at-bats as the Angels were swept by Kansas City.
Hamilton admitted to having brief relapses with alcohol in both 2009 and 2012, though those incidents were not punishable under MLB's current drug policy.