The respective histories of Josh Hamilton and Alex Rodriguez are very different. Hamilton is an addict struggling for sobriety, after having a relapse in recent months. Rodriguez, on the other hand, has been a repeated user of banned substances, lying about it over and over, and for his offenses he was given a record suspension.
But the choice that the Angels and the Yankees faced with these two players has been, at the absolute root, very much the same:
Given the amount of money we owe this player, is it possible that we could recoup enough value to offset the possible downside of keeping him on our team and in our clubhouse?