SATURDAY: The Rangers will take on less than $ 7MM of Hamilton’s contract, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Hamilton will eat about $ 6MM of the contract himself, since he can make up at least some of the difference due to the fact that Texas does not have a state income tax. (That means the Angels will still save $ 13MM or so.) Hamilton will also receive an opt-out clause after 2016.
FRIDAY 7:15pm: The talks are still “complex” and “volatile” and remain incomplete, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). If the deal is completed, the Rangers will take on less than $ 15MM and will not send any players to their division rivals.
Multiple reports indicate that the lack of state income tax in Texas is playing a role, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeting that Hamilton will cede some pay to make the deal work. Hamilton’s gains through tax avoidance would, presumably, even things out (to some extent, at least) on his end.
If the proposed transaction is indeed one in which the Rangers would assume some of the contract without sending anything in return, and in which Hamilton would give up some guaranteed money, it is not hard to see the complexities. Both the league and union would surely want to take a close look at a deal of that nature.
6:16pm: The Rangers will pick up about $ 15MM of Hamilton’s salary, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. Los Angeles will pay the remainder of the $ 83MM that he is owed.
6:10pm: The deal “has been agreed to” though there remain several “ancillary” matters to be addressed, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.
5:31pm: The Rangers are nearing a trade to acquire Josh Hamilton, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports on Twitter. There is still “legal work” remaining before the deal can be finalized, but Sullivan says an announcement could come Monday.
The details of the arrangement remain unknown, but Shin-Soo Choo is not involved in the prospective trade, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Choo had at least appeared to be a plausible piece to be included in a deal given his huge salary and rather pronounced struggles.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes that Texas would either need to have virtually all of Hamilton’s salary covered — or, would add him if and when he negotiates a release. Indeed, per another Shaikin tweet, some cash savings for the Angels may the only substantial element in the deal.
Hamilton, 33, has disappointed in Los Angeles since inking a five-year, $ 125MM contract before the 2013 season. He has slashed .255/.316/.426 in a Halos cap, a useful enough line but hardly enough to justify his contract. Injuries dogged Hamilton last year, who is still working back from offseason shoulder surgery.
Of course, Hamilton earned that sizeable contract with his play in Texas, where he produced at a .305/.363/.549 clip for five seasons while swatting 142 long balls. Though he did not end his stint with the team on the best off terms, Hamilton will forever be associated with the Rangers — the place where he became a star.
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