Josh Hamilton : Going back to Texas?

Josh Hamilton : Going back to Texas?

Josh Hamilton is close to being traded to the Texas Rangers, according to multiple reports on Twitter.

A source close to the situation confirmed Friday afternoon that the framework of a deal with the Los Angeles Angels is in place that would return Hamilton to the Rangers. Though there are some complicated details to be worked out, they remain only details and, apparently not obstacles. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported that a deal was in place.

An official announcement could be made in the next few days.

The Rangers are prepared for his return.

“He was here before, so we know him,” third baseman Adrian Beltre said. “If he can help us win games, I’m open to it. … If he comes here, I hope he is in a good place. I hope he can be the Josh we all know.”

“We’ve always done a good job of having his back and supporting him,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “We will support him again. We just want him to come in, show up and play. He can help us.”

The first step is the Angels finalizing a way out of their commitment to Hamilton. The Rangers could send a token amount of cash to the Angels, who would eat the bulk of the $83 million left on Hamilton’s contract which runs through 2017.

There is no possibility of the Rangers sending Shin-Soo Choo to the Angels in exchange for Hamilton, a source said.

Hamilton, who is rehabbing from shoulder surgery, has been pressing the Angels to begin baseball activities, but has so far been held off from that. He met last week with a team of Angels officials in Houston, but there was no resolution on his future with the club.

It would likely take Hamilton a couple of weeks at extended spring training and the minor leagues to get ready to play. He has had no baseball activities since offseason surgery to repair the AC joint in his shoulder.

According to a report from SI.com Friday morning, the Angels and Hamilton were moving towards a resolution to disassociate him from the team.

The Rangers have worked through a number of scenarios, including how Hamilton would fit back into the clubhouse. It should be noted that Roy Silver,who was hired as a special assistant in player development over the winter, operated the faith-based baseball academy at which Hamilton was reintroduced to baseball in 2007.

Among the other reasons why a deal would make some sense:

• There would be little, if any, financial risk for the Rangers beyond the major league minimum of $507,500.

• If doesn’t have success, the Rangers would be much more able to simple release him than the Angels can with so much money involved.

• If Hamilton were to have another drug abuse relapse, he’d fall under the auspices of the MLB Joint Drug Agreement and would be eligible for suspension. After he self-reported violating the agreement in the winter, MLB and the Players’ Association sent the matter to an independent arbitrator who ruled that Hamilton had not previously violated the MLB agreement. His previous offenses had come in the minor leagues under a different policy.