Texas Rangers release Josh Hamilton, open door to bring him back

The Rangers have requested release waivers on Josh Hamilton, according to the team.

Hamilton missed the beginning of the season while recovering from knee surgery, and upon his return in late April appeared in just one rehab game before having to take additional time off. He underwent another operation in June -- this one to repair a torn ACL and cartilage damage -- and that was that for his season.

Here's part of what the release said:

"We plan to monitor Josh's progress as he continues his rehab process and is medically cleared this winter," said President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels. "Given the rules in place, releasing him before the end of this month allows us to keep the door open to extending the relationship in the future."

Here are three things to know about this move.

This could be the last time you see Josh Hamilton in a Rangers uniform. USATSI

1. Hamilton's career could be over.

As you can read above, the Rangers kept the door opened as it pertained to Hamilton returning. Still, let's be honest: there's a legitimate chance he's played in his final regular season game. He's a 35 year old with multiple knee surgeries under his belt who hasn't been an above-average hitter since 2014. Teams always use the spring to look at this and that veteran. However, there's no telling whether Hamilton -- a hitter who was already in decline -- will ever show enough to make another roster -- and that's if he can stay healthy enough to make it through camp.

The Josh Hamilton signing was a total disaster for the Angels. USATSI

2. Hamilton is getting paid regardless.

Whether Hamilton ever suits up for the Rangers or any other team again, he's going to receive what remains on the final year of his contract. Part of the conditions of the trade that sent him to Texas stipulated his salaries were adjusted for the shift in state income tax. That means Hamilton is due roughly $26 million for next season, with all but $2 million of that coming by way of the Angels.

The Rangers hope Carlos Gomez can provide a boost. USATSI

3. The Rangers will be fine.

You probably knew this already, given Hamilton hadn't played for the Rangers this season, but Texas' championship hopes are unaffected. Hamilton wasn't expected back this season, and the Rangers recently added Carlos Gomez to the mix to help offset the Shin-Soo Choo injury. That doesn't mean the Rangers are happy about the situation -- there's no reason to be -- but this is sad for reasons other than how it impacts a ballclub's chances of winning the pennant. Here's hoping Hamilton will be fine, too.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories