The Los Angeles Angels are close to trading Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers, according to TR Sullivan:
Rangers are close to trading for Josh Hamilton.... still a lot of legal work to be done... likely announced on Mondat sources say— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) April 24, 2015
Bill Shaikin is reporting that the trade could be completed in as little as 72 hours, while Jon Morosi revealed that Hamilton is standing by in Houston, ready to rejoin the Rangers. Shaikin also noted that this could be a cash only deal, and that no players would be coming back to the Angels.
Hamilton is owed $80 million, and the Angels will likely need to eat a lot of that money. The terms are still unknown, but will be updated as information comes in.
Heyman is reporting that the trade has been agreed to, with a few things left to iron out.
The Angels investment in Hamilton appears to be extremely low, making this deal all the better for Texas.
Josh Hamilton will reduce his #Angels contract by about $6 million and get opt-out after 2016 in tentative #Rangers deal, per @Evan_P_Grant— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 25, 2015
The lack of a state income tax is seemingly one of the reasons that this deal is being held up, but Bob Nightengale tweeted that Hamilton has agreed to forfeit some money to make the deal work for Texas.
A trade was the only plausible outcome
Ever since the news about Hamilton's relapse broke, it didn't seem like the relationship between him and the Angels to be fixed. MLBPA is opposed to buyouts, as Chris Schubert writes, and as such the only possible remedy was a trade.
The team was clearly upset that Hamilton wasn't punished for breaking the agreement of the Joint Drug Agreement, while many in the media applauded the arbitrator's decision. It's impossible to know how the front office felt about Hamilton before this situation unfolded, but it's clear now that they were no longer supporting their player:
Shows you just how much #Angels want to get rid of Josh that they'd trade him to team in their division, where he could haunt them.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) April 24, 2015
The Rangers actually make sense
The Rangers make perfect sense for Hamilton, as it was the first time he experienced any prolonged success in the majors. They're also acutely aware of his personal history, and how to support him through his struggles.
While it's highly unlikely that Hamilton can return to his MVP days, the most important thing is for him to feel comfortable, and play for an ownership group that is receptive to his issues.
Rangers and Angels players show support for Hamilton
C.J. Wilson was unaware of the trade, but is glad that Hamilton will be back on a baseball field soon.
CJ Wilson didn't know anything about potential Josh Hamilton trade to the #Rangers, but said, "If he's back on a field, it's good for him."— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 24, 2015
Albert Pujols still wishes Hamilton was a member of the Angels, but thinks this will work out for him.
Former teammate Elvis Andrus still thinks that Hamilton is a player "who can help everybody", while Adrian Beltre wondered why there would be a team that didn't want him.