MLB's mouthpiece Alden Gonzalez broke the news to the world that the Angels have blinked.
Jerry Dipoto outlined the plan ahead for the Halos to bring Josh Hamilton back into the fold.
While there was no backing down from the threat of Arte Moreno ("I will not say that" when asked if Hamilton would ever play for the Angels again), the team is basically making sure that they maximize the potential HamBone represents to a team - not necessarily theirs.
The plan goes something like this:
Josh is definitely, impressively, in shape. It is time to get him sharpened for baseball activities. A residency at the team's Arizona spring training facility is in order. Josh can make the trek from Texas to Tempe and work out under the observation and tutelage of the team's staff.
He will be scrutinized greatly. This rehabbing audition will lead to a minor league assignment.
That is when the clock will really start ticking. According to MLB's rules, a minor league rehabilitation assignment can only begin with the certainty that the player will be returning to the major leagues. To ensure this happens, the assignment can only last 20 days.
Will the team try to trade him based on his minor league results? His no-trade clause still exists and there is no telling how hard his agent would negotiate for a fiscal bonus for him to remove it. But even more importantly than that, would a good performance with the bat change Arte's mind when he looks at the weak offense assembled in Angels uniforms this season?