Sources: Angels nearing deal to send Josh Hamilton to Rangers

The Los Angeles Angels are nearing a deal that would send outfielder Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers, ending a tenuous relationship that boiled over after a drug relapse and reuniting the one-time star with the team with which he won an MVP award, industry sources told Yahoo Sports.

Josh Hamilton enjoyed his best seasons with the Rangers. (AP)
Josh Hamilton enjoyed his best seasons with the Rangers. (AP)

The Rangers are expected to pay around $15 million of the more than $80 million that is owed to Hamilton through 2017, with the Angels paying the difference, sources said.

While the return for Hamilton is unknown, it ends weeks of discussions that at one point centered on a potential buyout of  Hamilton’s contract, sources said.

Hamilton’s Super Bowl weekend relapse followed two underperforming seasons with the Angels, and owner Arte Moreno and other team officials repeatedly voiced displeasure with Hamilton – particularly after he won a grievance and avoided suspension for violating the drug program put in place more than a decade ago.

Now 33, Hamilton turned into a superstar in Texas, where the Rangers used accountability partners and a strict program to help him stay sober. Hamilton hit .305/.363/.549 with the Rangers, won the American League MVP in 2010 and twice helped the Rangers to the World Series.

His departure from Texas was particularly bitter following a 2012 wild-card loss and the Rangers declining to lavish him with a deal like the Angels did: five years, $125 million. The disappointment clouded Hamilton over the last two seasons, as he hit .255/.316/.426 with 31 home runs and 123 RBIs while missing more than a quarter of Los Angeles’ games.

Hamilton has not played this season following surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder. It is unclear when he is expected to join the Rangers should the deal be finalized.

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