Josh Hamilton traded to Rangers
The Rangers acquired center fielder Josh Hamilton from the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Minor League reliever Danny Herrera.
Hamilton was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays with the first overall pick in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft but had to overcome a long history of personal issues and drug abuse before reaching the Major Leagues. Picked up a year ago by the Reds in the Rule 5 Draft, Hamilton, 26, hit .292 with 19 home runs and 47 RBIs in 298 at-bats this past season.
To complete the deal, Hamilton underwent a complete physical on Friday. His past personal problems have made headlines, but his physical problems have also been extensive. He was on the disabled list twice last season, first because of gastroenteritis and then because of a sprained right wrist.
“We were more concerned about the medical issues,” Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. “I really challenged JD [Daniels] to make sure he felt strongly about this trade.”
The off-field issues still had to be addressed, both by Hicks and Daniels. Hamilton missed 3 1/2 years from 2002-2006 because of his drug problems while going in and out of rehabilitation eight different times. He said he has been clean for over two years and his arrival in the Major Leagues last season appeared to be in the end of a long, hard road.
“I’ve never met anybody who hasn’t made a mistake in the past or wrestled with demons,” Hamilton said. “The main thing is you learn from it and you don’t repeat it. I’ve taken some steps in my life to put God and my family first. I have a good support system in place and I’m very comfortable in saying that the past is in the past and the future is brighter.
“Now I really want to show these guys what I can do.”