Josh Hamilton's most recent run with the Texas Rangers may be over. The team activated the one-time slugger from the 60-day disabled list Tuesday and placed him on unconditional release waivers.
According to MLB.com, "waivers are granted only after all the other Major League Clubs have been given an opportunity to claim the player and none has done so. With unconditional release waivers, once permission is granted the player is a free agent."
Hamilton started the year on the 15-day DL rehabbing an off-season surgery to his left knee. During his first rehab assignment in Frisco Hamilton continued to feel pain. He was moved to the 60-day DL and underwent another surgery to repair a torn ACL and cartilage damage.
Hamilton is now rehabbing that most recent knee operation.
“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.”
By releasing Hamilton before the end of the month, the Rangers can re-sign him to a minor league contract and have him with the major league club before May 15 of next season. If they had waited longer, Hamilton would not be eligible to return to the Rangers until after May 15.
Hamilton is still owed $28.4 million for next season. The Los Angeles Angels are responsible for $26.4 million with the Rangers on the hook for $2 million. If the Rangers do re-sign Hamilton to a minor league contract for the major league minimum, they still won't owe him anything more that it's current financial commitment.
The Rangers also announced that LHP Derek Holland (shoulder inflammation) has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his first major league start since June 20 Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
RHP Shawn Tolleson has been recalled from Triple-A Round Rock and placed on the 60-day disabled list. That move will accommodate Holland on the 40-man roster. RHP Nick Martinez was optioned to Round Rock on Monday to accommodate Holland on the active roster.