Rangers release former AL MVP Hamilton
Los Angeles (AFP) – Former American League Most Valuable Player Josh Hamilton, his bid to return to the Major Leagues stymied by a new knee injury, was released by the Texas Rangers on Friday.
The Rangers released Hamilton from his minor league contract after the 36-year-old sustained a right knee injury while rehabilitating his left knee.
“I am disappointed but not discouraged that my knee problems have not allowed me to play this season,” Hamilton said in a statement.
“I plan to have surgery on my right knee and then evaluate the situation. I want to thank the Rangers and all of the great fans for the support and encouragement. I really appreciate it.”
Hamilton, who turns 36 in May, was a five-time All-Star for the Rangers and won MVP honors in 2010 when he led the AL with a .359 batting average, 32 home run sand 100 runs-batted-in.
He hit a career-best 43 homers in 2012 and departed as a free agent to sign with the Angels in Anaheim.
Hamilton became one of baseball’s most feared hitters despite early battles with addiction.
He was suspended for three seasons between 2003-05 for well-document issued with substance abuse.
He re-signed with the Rangers in January before undergoing left knee surgery the following month.
While Hamilton wasn’t yet ready to call time on his career in the face of this latest setback, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels noted it would be hard to overcome.
“I think with the number of knee surgeries he’s had — I’m not a doctor, but the odds are pretty challenging to overcome,” Daniels said of the chances the Rangers might re-sign a healthy Hamilton in the future.
“That being said, he’s overcome a lot of odds in his life.”