Josh Hamilton has been cleared by the Ranger’s medical team to resume baseball activities. That is right, his knee has been cleared! Hamilton was by the Rangers on August 23 earlier this year in order to clear up space on their 40-man roster and was not fully recovered from his knee injury as expected. Hamilton underwent surgery soon after, and began rehabilitation in hopes of returning to his former glory with the Rangers. The two parties have kept in touch and the goal was to recover, and sign back on with a minor league deal and an invitation to spring training. It looks like that is close to fruition as the first of the tasks have been checked off the list.
Hamilton last played in the majors in 2015 when he was traded by the Angels to Texas along with 93% of his salary in money. The Rangers have paid only been paying Hamilton $2m over the past couple seasons, and is on the payroll as buried salary for this season. Injury and alcohol/drug abuse has always been Hamilton’s bane. If he really is able to stay healthy, and disciplined, then the Rangers could add a huge bat to the lineup on a bargain of a price. If Hamilton is healthy enough to run in the outfield, he could platoon LF alongside Rua or DeShields, allowing Choo to primarily DH and stay healthy this season. If injury and age have taken ahold too strongly over the past couple years, then he could be an option at 1B and allow the Rangers to give Gallo more time to develop at Round Rock.
Either direction the Rangers take with Hamilton if he succeeds their expectations, would be a good one as it offers depth to the roster. However, I am afraid that this might be one of the last chances Hamilton will get in his major league baseball career, and it is most likely the last chance the Rangers will offer the former MVP.