4:57pm: Hamilton “balked” at a scenario that would have sent him to extended spring training, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets.
The Rangers, meanwhile, would be willing to bring Hamilton back, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com tweets. He cautions that there is “no word yet if that will happen.”
4:51pm: Hamilton will be moved via trade, Rosenthal tweets. It is not done yet, but appears likely to happen, he adds.
4:50pm: The Angels are “close to parting with” slugger Josh Hamilton, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports (via Twitter). Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann wrote earlier today that it appeared a move that would sever ties between Hamilton and the club could be made within days.
Hamilton had been said to be preparing to work back from injury in extending spring training. His relationship with the team hit a low point when he admitted to an offseason drug relapse. Though the league pushed for a suspension, an arbitrator ultimately ruled that Hamilton had not violated his drug treatment program and thus could not be suspended.
The team’s negative reaction to the news that Hamilton would not be suspended certainly seemed to portend a possible end to the relationship. At the same time, it has been hard to see a way for the club to accomplish that other than simply cutting him loose.
Indeed, even now, it remains entirely unclear what action the team will ultimately pursue to finalize the separation. A trade is at least hypothetically possible, with a buyout of some kind perhaps making more intuitive sense at first glance.