Angels players express support for Josh Hamilton amid trade reports

Angels players express support for Josh Hamilton amid trade reports
Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton (32) watches from the dugout during a game against the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 16. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

As The Times and other media outlets were reporting the Angels’ impending trade of Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers on Friday, Angels players spoke of their support for the troubled outfielder before their game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium.

“We’ve been dealing with this since spring,” said outfielder Mike Trout, the reigning American League most valuable player. “We kind of put it behind us and we’re hoping for the best for him.

"Sad situation. But he's a teammate, he's a good friend of ours. I'm hearing rumors that he's getting traded so it's definitely going to be different … but we wish him the best."

Pitcher C.J. Wilson, Hamilton’s teammate with the Rangers for four seasons before signing with the Angels after the 2011 season, said he had no knowledge of a trade but intimated that Hamilton would benefit from a return to the field, regardless of the team.

"No matter what the situation is, Josh is going to pick up a 35-inch bat and go swing," Wilson said. "That's what he's good at, and I think that's what he needs to be doing right now."

Manager Mike Scioscia declined to speculate about a trade and said Hamilton's situation had not been a distraction for Angels players.

"Whatever course this takes, it takes," he said. "And we're just going to focus on playing baseball."

In the aftermath of Hamilton’s struggles at the plate in 2014, outfielder Matt Joyce was acquired in an off-season trade with the Tampa Bay Rays to help bolster the offense.

Joyce said he was aware of reports that Hamilton could be traded.

"Everybody has a job in here and everybody has something to work on and focus on," he said. "That's where our mind's at."

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter at @latimesklein