On Wednesday, it was announced that Angels' outfielder Josh Hamilton was in New York to meet with MLB officials for potential disciplinary action. On Thursday, the specifics were revealed, as the New York Daily News reported that Hamilton suffered a relapse with both cocaine and alcohol.
Hamilton has previously been suspended for a year for drugs of abuse, and had to be reinstated by former MLB commissioner Bud Selig. He has an accountability partner meant to shadow him and help him through his sobriety, and also is subject to drug tests three times per week, though, Hamilton reportedly came forward on his own to admit he relapsed to MLB. Because of this, new commissioner Rob Manfred could attempt to suspend Hamilton to the maximum extent allowed by the Joint Drug Agreement -- which would be a lifetime ban -- but that seems unlikely. The MLBPA would surely fight this, given Hamilton has not had five separate occurrences with drugs of abuse during his time as a major-league player, and from a more humanitarian standpoint, it's hard to see Baseball trying to force Hamilton out when they could attempt to rehabilitate him with a structured program during another, shorter suspension instead.
If Hamilton is suspended, the Angels will not be responsible for his salary during that time. Hamilton is owed another $83 million over the next three years, and has been a solid but underwhelming contributor for the Angels in his first two seasons of the deal. All of that takes a backseat to Hamilton's well-being and his struggle to stay clean, though.