ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Troubled Tampa Bay prospect Josh Hamilton, on the restricted list the last two seasons, received permission from Major League Baseball on Friday to play in minor league games the rest of the year.
The Devil Rays were expected to announce later in the day where Hamilton will be assigned.
The 25-year-old Hamilton, the overall No. 1 pick in the 1999 draft, was suspended in February 2004 for violating baseball's drug policy. The outfielder hasn't played since July 2002 because of injuries and unspecified personal issues.
Hamilton was granted limited privileges starting June 2 that allowed him to begin working out at the Devil Rays' minor league complex with the extended spring training team. He didn't appear in any extended games, but did take part in simulated games.