2017 will be the final year of a five-year, $125 million contract that Josh Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Angels, but it seems like there's a decent chance that he won't be playing in the 2017 season for the Rangers after all. Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan is reporting that after Hamilton had surgery on his knee, and he'll have to go through six weeks of rehab before he can even start running again. That will take him out of spring training, which obviously curtails any chance he had of possibly breaking Rangers camp with the big-league squad this season.
This isn't particularly bad news for the Rangers. Hamilton was always a long shot to even make the major-league squad coming out of spring training, and anybody who's signed to a minor-league deal is probably not going to have a major impact on their team's chances in that upcoming season. So it's highly unlikely that Texas is going to miss a guy who missed the entirety of 2016 and only hit .253/.291/.441 with eight home runs and 94 wRC+ over just 50 games in 2015.
Instead, it's a bit of a bummer for fans of Hamilton himself that it appears that this could be the end of the line for him. Although he never reached the lofty heights of his initial time in Texas during his run with the Angels, it's hard to forget that he overcame plenty of personal demons just to even reach those heights with the Rangers. The injury-proneness that dogged him for most of his time as a player may have finally claimed his career, and it's a bit of a shame that this is how one of the most fascinating stories in baseball is coming to an end.
- We've only just begun spring training, but that hasn't stopped Grant Brisbee from using certain stats to prove himself right as far as his predictions for 2017 are concerned.
- It may only be spring training, but walk-off dingers are fun whenever they happen, and Michael Taylor opened up the Nats' new spring home with a walk-off home run.
- The Nationals were busy off the field as well, as they signed Joe Blanton to a one-year-deal.
- The Angels are trying to get a leg up on the next Hot Stove season, as there are rumors that they could go after Mike Moustakas at that time.
- The Rangers and Rougned Odor are still discussing a possible contract extension, and this is something you may want to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
- In further Rangers news, 2017 Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez will see his No. 7 jersey officially retired at some point this summer.
- Braves reliever Mauricio Cabrera has plenty of velocity on his fearsome fastball. He'll need more than that if he's going to succeed in the bigs, though.
- Good news, everyone: Petco Park is no longer underwater!