The Texas Rangers have placed former American League MVP Josh Hamilton on unconditional release waivers, but that doesn't mean his career as a Rangers' player is over.

Hamilton underwent surgery in June to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.  He said last month he hopes to be ready for spring training.  The move enables Hamilton to come back to the Rangers as a non-roster invitee and, if he is healthy, could play right away in 2017.  Had the Rangers not done this, he would not have been eligible to play, per MLB contract rules, until after May 15th of next year.

Hamilton was a five time All-Star while with the Rangers and was the AL MVP in 2012.  He signed a $125 million dollar contract with the Angels as a free agent and was traded back to the Rangers last year.