ANAHEIM -- ANAHEIM -- Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, a close friend of Josh Hamilton since their days as Texas Rangers teammates, suggested the Angels' response to Hamilton's drug-related relapse might have been different if Hamilton had been more productive on the field during his tenure with the club.
"If Josh was hitting .300 with 35 home runs a year, what's the situation?" Wilson told Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register. "If you're good, you get away with everything. That's all there is to it."
Hamilton, who signed a five-year, $125 million free-agent contract, has had two injury-plagued years with the Angels. The club still owes him $83 million.
Recently, an arbitrator ruled that Hamilton did not violate the terms of his treatment program, leaving MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred without flexibility to levy a suspension. All MLB contracts are guaranteed, and normally teams aren't allowed to include additional language that protects them against players using drugs of abuse or performance-enhancing substances.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.