TEMPE, Ariz. - Josh Hamilton was in New York on Wednesday meeting with MLB officials regarding a disciplinary issue, the Angels confirmed. The club offered no further information on the nature of the issue or when a resolution might be announced.
MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said he could not comment on the situation. Mike Moye, Hamilton's agent, did not immediately respond to a message.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports quoted an anonymous baseball executive saying Hamilton's disipline was for something "worse" than performance enhacing drugs.
If Hamilton is suspended, the Angels would not have to pay his salary while he is out. However, it is unlikely his contract could be voided unless he is in legal trouble, and even then the deal, which will pay Hamilton $90 million over the next three years, wouldn't necessarily be voided.
Hamilton has not been with the team this spring because he’s been rehabbing from shoulder surgery in Houston, the club said. They have not given a timeline for when Hamilton was expected to join the team and begin baseball activities.
Hamilton, 33, was suspended from baseball before he reached the major leagues because of drug and alcohol issues. He has since been subject to additional testing under major league baseball’s drug program.
Since the Angels signed Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal prior to the 2013 season, his career has been marked by poor performance and injuries, but no off-field issues.
Hamilton slumped for most of 2013 before finishing the season hitting .250 with 21 homers. In 2014, he dealt with a calf injury in spring training, then a fractured wrist for most of the first half, and a sore shoulder in September and the playoffs.
The Angels had hoped time would heal Hamilton’s shoulder in the offseason, but more aggressive workouts in January led to more pain. He had surgery Feb. 4 to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder.
The initial prognosis for recovery was six to eight weeks, although the Angels seemed to be bracing for it to last at least a few weeks longer even from the start.
Hamilton does not even have a locker in the Angels spring training clubhouse. It is unusual for an injured player to be rehabbing an injury away from the team.
A source tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that Josh Hamilton relapsed a few months back involving "at least cocaine."
Heyman says Hamilton turned himself in and that, if true, he would be put in a drug program as a first-time offender. Without a positive test, it's unclear how MLB could suspend Hamilton for the incident. Reports were that the 33-year-old had a meeting with MLB Wednesday to discuss what happened. More should be known shortly.
The couple of features I saw on him back when it was going good with TEX was heroin.....his preference. I remember a while back when he had another relapse with the Rangers he dragged some chick into the men's bathroom at a bar and got it on with her in the stall. He's had so many relapses I'm thinking he's never been clean.
One important aspect to this story (that we never hear about) is the incident in Texas a few years back when a Ranger fan fell to his death (in full view of his young son) while trying to catch a ball hit by Hamilton.
I'd have to think that incident brought a tremendous amount of guilt to Hamilton (regardless of the fact that it wasn't his fault), which probably doesn't help matters when it comes to his well-chronicled drug problem.