Jan. 17 (UPI) -- He's still being paid in the last year of a five-year, $125 million contract.
But Josh Hamilton will begin the 2017 season with a renewed minor league deal and an invite to Texas Rangers spring training. Hamilton, 35, had reconstructive surgery on his left knee in June. The Rangers released him in August.
The Rangers re-acquired Hamilton in April of 2015 after he signed his mammoth deal with the Los Angeles Angels. His new pact includes a release request if Hamilton is not on a big-league roster by April 1, according to Jon Heyman.
Hamilton didn't play a game in the majors last season and appeared in just one game for Double-A Frisco. In 2015, he hit .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 170 at-bats for the Rangers. The five-time All-Star led MLB with a .359 batting average during his 2010 MVP campaign. He had a league-high 130 RBI in 2008.
Hamilton is a career .290 hitter, with 200 home runs in nine seasons. Rangers' doctors cleared him in December. He told MLB.com in July that "he'll be 100 percent in spring training."
The designated hitter/outfielder has earned more than $118 million during his career, according to Sportrac.