Texas Rangers rumors: Josh Hamilton is close to being traded to the Texas Rangers, according to multiple reports on Twitter.
Hamilton is owed $83M from 2015-17, and most reports are indicating that a deal where Texas takes Hamilton would involve a minimal financial commitment. Jon Paul Morosi says it "involves players and money" and is materially a "baseball transaction," for whatever that's worth.
There's a couple of conceivable ways this could happen. First would be the Angels dealing Hamilton and eating most of the $83 million he is due. Hamilton hasn't been particularly good for LAA, is currently rehabbing a bad shoulder, and had a drug relapse in February which resulted in the Angels (unsuccessfully) urging MLB to suspend him. Recent reports have indicated that the Angels don't want to deal with him anymore, and so it may be they'd be willing to subsidize much or all of his deal.
Alternatively, the Rangers could send Shin-Soo Choo, who is under contract through 2020, to the Angels, with Hamilton (and likely some cash) coming back. Choo has, it seems, never been a favorite of ownership, and with him being a disappointment since a hot April, 2014, it may be that ownership feels that, if you're going to have an expensive, bad outfielder, it might as well be one who has a built-in fanbase and might sell tickets.
I've said that, if you could get Hamilton for Choo, and get the Angels to kick in $10M per year on Hamilton's salary, I'd probably due that, just to get out from under the very backloaded Choo deal, which looks pretty bad right now.
Indications are a deal likely wouldn't happen before Monday.
More on this as news becomes available.
UPDATE -- Multiple folks are saying Shin-Soo Choo would not be part of this deal.
UPDATE II -- Jon Heyman says the Hamilton to Texas deal has been agreed to, with just a few ancillary matters to be resolved.
UPDATE III -- Per Jeff Passan on Twitter, the Rangers are expected to pay about $15 million for Hamilton's salary, with the Angels taking the rest. That's more than I'd be comfortable paying him, but I suspect ownership sees some off-the-field value to this.
UPDATE IV -- Bill Shaiken and Aiden Gonzalez, both of whom are Angels beat writers, say LAA will not be getting any players back in this deal.