Rangers sign OF Josh Hamilton and RHP Dillon Gee to Minor League contracts
The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has signed free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton and right-handed pitcher Dillon Gee to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.
Hamilton, 35, ranks among all-time Rangers leaders in OPS (3rd, .901), slugging percentage (3rd, .542), and batting average (9th, .302), but did not play for the club last season following multiple surgeries on his left knee and was released on August 23, 2016. He was cleared for activity in December and has been on a workout program over the last month. The 2010 American League Most Valuable Player with Texas, he was re-acquired by the club from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade on April 27, 2015, but his last major league contest was in 2015 ALDS Game 5 at Toronto.
Hamilton opened the 2016 season on the 15-day disabled list as he continued to rehab from surgery on his left knee on October 28, 2015. He was assigned to Double-A Frisco on injury rehab assignment on April 30 but went 0-for-2 in his only game that night before experiencing continued knee discomfort. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 7 and underwent additional surgery on June 8 to repair a torn ACL and cartilage damage in the knee. That surgery was performed by Dr. Walt Lowe in Houston. He was activated from the 60-day disabled list and released by Texas in August.
The 30-year-old Gee went 8-9 with a 4.68 ERA (65 ER/125.0 IP) over 33 games/14 starts with Kansas City last season. After entering spring training on a minor league deal, Gee became one of only two major league pitchers to record at least 14 starts and 19 relief appearances in 2016. The right-hander has appeared in the majors in each of the last seven seasons (2010-16) and has amassed a 48-46 career record with a 4.13 ERA in 147 games/124 starts. Over the last 6 seasons beginning 2011, Gee has averaged 8 wins, 20 starts, and 129.0 innings per year, this despite spending most of the 2015 campaign in Triple-A.
Gee earned All-State honors in baseball at Cleburne High School and attended the University of Texas at Arlington, where he helped lead the Mavericks to the NCAA tournament in 2006. The Fort Worth resident was originally selected by the New York Mets in the 21st round of the 2007 June draft and started 110 games for the Mets from 2010-15.