Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers have officially gotten a deal done for 2017, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter. Heyman says that Hamilton has the right to request his release on April 1 if he is not on the major league roster.
I think this has been expected, but there hadn’t been any news on the Hamilton front for a while. Hamilton was released in August, 2016, so that the Rangers would have the ability to sign him to a minor league contract prior to the 2017 season — had he been released after September 1, he couldn’t have been re-signed and added to the major league roster prior to May 15.
Hamilton was acquired in early 2015 after two tumultuous seasons with the Angels. It was viewed as a low-risk deal for Texas, as they were assuming only $7 million or so in Hamilton’s salary, with the Angels taking on the rest. Hamilton put up a .253/.291/.441 slash line for the Rangers in 2015, but missed all of 2016 due to knee problems that resulted in surgery that discovered, among other things, a torn ACL.
Hamilton will presumably get a chance to vie for a platoon job in left field in 2017, where one would think he would split time with Ryan Rua.
UPDATE -- Heyman says Hamilton will make the league minimum in 2017 if he does, in fact, make the major league roster.
UPDATE II -- John Blake has tweeted that Hamilton has signed, making this official.
Blake also says that the Rangers have signed righthanded pitcher Dillon Gee to a minor league deal.
Gee, who turns 31 in April, went to Cleburne High School and the University of Texas at Arlington. He was a 21st round pick of the Mets in the 2007 draft, and had 110 starts (and 4 relief appearances) with the Mets from 2010-15, putting up a 4.03 ERA and a 4.25 FIP.
Gee signed as a free agent with Kansas City for the 2016 season, and put up a 4.68 ERA and 5.25 FIP for the Royals, splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen.
Gee is someone who the Rangers were rumored to have interest in prior to the 2015 season. He provides the Rangers with a veteran rotation option to compete for the #5 spot this spring, as well as potential AAA depth.
UPDATE III — Josh Hamilton will also work at 1B.