Josh Hamilton is expected to be introduced Monday as a member of the Texas Rangers, assuming the pending trade with the Los Angeles Angels is finally approved late Sunday.
The Rangers and Angels had expected the deal to be announced Saturday and Sunday, but the players association and commissioner’s office continued to examine the language in the proposal before signing off.
Once they do, the Rangers will have brought back Hamilton without surrendering any players to the Angels, while also taking on less than 10 percent of the $83 million remaining on his contract.
He will be dispatched late Monday or Tuesday to Surprise, Ariz., to accelerate his rehab schedule from right shoulder surgery Feb. 3, and he will eventually advance to Triple A Round Rock before joining the Rangers’ active roster.
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The delay hasn’t affected Rangers players. They rallied for a 5-4 victory in 11 innings Sunday afternoon, avoiding a sweep when Mitch Moreland singled in the tying run in the ninth and going ahead when Leonys Martin started the 11th with a home run.
“To be honest, I haven’t even thought about it,” Moreland said. “If it does [happen], great. If it doesn’t, we’re still going to go out and play our games.
“We’re focusing on what we have at hand.”
Hamilton will be flanked by Shayne Kelley, who returns as the slugger’s accountability partner after he admitted to using cocaine in February.
That relapse, while in Houston following his surgery, raised the ire of Angels owner Arte Moreno, who sought to buy out the former league MVP who he signed in December 2012 for five years and $125 million.
The Angels became incensed when an independent arbitrator ruled that Hamilton did not violate his drug treatment program and would face no punishment, a decision that meant the Angels would have to continue paying Hamilton.
Moreno, though, said that Hamilton might never play for the Angels again, and he was right. Moreno is eating more than $60 million to get rid of Hamilton, who hit 31 homers in 240 games over two seasons for the Angels.
The Rangers are hoping that Hamilton can be a productive player again. He will likely become their left fielder, giving them six regulars who bat left-handed.
Even though they had nine hits in Sunday’s victory, they still have the lowest batting average (.211) in the major leagues. Hamilton, though, likely won’t be a player for them for at least 10 days.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760