Rangers waive Josh Hamilton, leave door open for return in '17

The Texas Rangers placed injury-plagued outfielder Josh Hamilton on unconditional release waivers Tuesday, while leaving open the possibility of the former MVP rejoining the team on a minor league deal in 2017.

Hamilton underwent season-ending surgery in June to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, and he said in late July that he expects to be fully healthy and ready in time for spring training.

The 35-year-old outfielder was activated off the 60-day disabled list and then placed on waivers. The move, which was expected, affords Hamilton the opportunity to return to the Rangers for spring training on a non-roster deal. If the Rangers hadn't placed him on waivers by the end of August, Hamilton wouldn't have been able to play for them until after May 15, 2017, per Major League Baseball's contract rules.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told reporters in a conference call that he had discussed the move with Hamilton, most recently on Tuesday.

"I'm hopeful that if he's healthy and our roster is in a spot where we'd still like to have him back, we can work it out," Daniels said. "But that's still a few steps down the line.

"We've talked about it for a period of time, and he understands why we did it."

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