Hamilton won't play in 2016, will collect $28m


Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will get paid more than any position player in the majors this year, without playing a single inning.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told reporters on Monday that Hamilton will undergo surgery on his left knee on June 8, ending a season that never got started. 

Hamilton acknowledged during the first week of spring training that he was still feeling pain in the knee he had surgically repaired last year.

The team said then, in late February, that Hamilton would have a stem cell injection in an attempt to improve healing in the knee and was targeting a late April return.

He did play in one rehab game for Double-A Frisco on April 30, getting two at-bats, but his knee was not healthy enough to continue.

The former American League MVP is set to make $28.4million this season, with the Los Angeles Angels picking up all but $2m of that tab as a condition of the trade that sent Hamilton back to Texas.

He has an opt-out in his deal after this season but has no reason to exercise it, as he is guaranteed the same salary in 2017 as his contract comes to an end.

Hamilton, who turned 35 on Saturday, has played in only 139 games since the start of the 2014 season.

Even when he has been healthy enough to take the field, his production the last three years has been a shadow of the MVP form he displayed in his first stint with the Rangers.