Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton dodged a bullet after an MLB arbitrator decided that the league cannot punish him for his drug and alcohol abuse.
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Hamilton was initially expected to be suspended for 25 games due to a supposed violation of the league’s drug policy, as he had relapsed on cocaine in addition to alcohol.
No reason was given for the decision to not punish Hamilton, but it seems as though they want him to receive help for his addiction rather than punish him for it.
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said that the team will do exactly that in his team statement.
“We are going to do everything possible to assure he receives proper help for himself and for the well-being of his family,” Dipoto said.
Hamilton has not panned out as the All-Star outfielder that the Angels were hoping for after they signed him to a five-year, $125 million contract.
After an MVP season in 2010 and a 2012 season with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs, Hamilton signed with the Angels before his play dropped off significantly – his 2014 season riddled with injuries and a hitless ALDS against the Kansas City Royals.
Despite avoiding a suspension, Hamilton is not expected to see the field until at least May since he is recovering from shoulder surgery.