After activating him from the disabled list, the Rangers have placed Josh Hamilton on unconditional release waivers. Evan Grant of Sports Day calls the move ‘procedural’ and attributes it to allowing the outfielder a chance to make the 2017 opening roster.
Josh Hamilton placed on release waivers in what amounts to procedural move, I believe. Club could resign him to minor league deal after year— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) August 23, 2016
Hamilton hasn’t played a major league game since undergoing reconstructive knee surgery. In 2015, the outfielder racked up a .253/.291/.441 slash line through 182 plate appearances.
According to Grant, the Rangers are able to release Hamilton and re-sign him to a minor league deal in order to monitor his rehab. By doing this prior to September 1, the Rangers will be able to have Hamilton on their major league roster prior to May 15.
General manager Jon Daniels weighed in on the matter to clarify:
"We plan to monitor Josh's progress as he continues his rehab process and is medically cleared this winter. 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."
In the wake of the Carlos Gomez signing, these moves seem to correlate on face value but do not actually. Hamilton’s release doesn’t really mean a roster spot has been gained since he was on the 60-day disabled list prior to the move. The Rangers will still need to make room on the 40-man and 25-man roster in the event of a Gomez call-up.