By: Josh Clark
DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Josh Hamilton is returning to the Rangers on a minor league deal, the team announced Tuesday.
According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, Hamilton can get out of the deal on April 1 if he's not on the club's 25-man roster. He'll receive MLB's minimum salary of $535,000 if he's in the majors.
In an appearance on Tuesday, Hamilton said he's been cleared for all baseball activities and his physical condition is "good."
Hamilton said he'll do some work in the outfield but his primary role will be at first base.
"I'm excited about it. I've been wanting to play first base for years," Hamilton said.
The deal was an expected move after Rangers and General Manager Jon Daniels said the club would like to get a deal done with Hamilton, provided he was healthy.
"We plan to monitor Josh's progress as he continues his rehab process and is medically cleared this winter," said Daniels when the club released Hamilton on August 23. "Given the rules in place, releasing him before the end of this month allows us to keep the door open to extending the relationship in the future."
Hamilton began the 2016 season on the 15-day DL as he continued to rehab from off-season surgery he had on his left knee. He was assigned to Double-A Frisco on a rehab assignment before experiencing continued knee discomfort after one game of action. Hamilton was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 7 and underwent another surgery on June 8 to repair a torn ACL and cartilage damage in his left knee.
Hamilton is owed $26.4 million from the Angels for the 2017 season, while Texas is still on the hook for $2 million.
The Angels signed Hamilton to a five-year contract worth $125 million in 2013. He was ultimately traded back to Texas in April of 2015.
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