The Los Angeles Angels didn’t manage to sign the best pitcher on the market, but it appears that they did get their hands on the best hitter.
For the second consecutive off-season, the Angels came from off the board to sign the best available hitter. Last season it was Albert Pujols when no one was talking about them. This year, it is Josh Hamilton.
The contract is being reported by Yahoo sports as being for five seasons and $125 million. Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels has confirmed that hamilton has reached an agreement with Hamilton. Jon Heyman says the Rangers were never given the opportunity to match the Angels’ offer. It had been reported that Hamilton would afford the Rangers that luxury.
The 2010 American League MVP, Hamilton joins a lineup that already includes Pujols and Mike Trout. Hamilton figures to slide into the fifth spot and play left field, giving the Angels one of the best lineups in all of baseball.
The signing will obviously have ripples throughout the game. Los Angeles finished thrid in the division a season ago, but scores a direct victory over their rivals with this move. Not only do the Angels gets significantly better, but Texas looks like the biggest losers of the off-season, especially given where they were a week ago.
At the Winter Meetings, the Rangers were the team involved in seemingly every big name. They were the favorites to sign Zack greinke, but lost him to the Dodgers. They were working to trade for James Shields, but he went to the Royals. Texas has been working hard to land Justin Upton, but wouldn’t part with a shortstop. Evenetually, Arizona landed Didi Gregorius and now Upton seems to be off the market.
Everyone assumed that Hamilton was going back to Texas.
And now they’ve missed out on him as well.
In Los Angeles, Hamilton’s signing probably pushed Pete Bourjos back to the bench and he’ll be a sought-after commodity on the trade market. The Mets have already been mentioned as a club that could be a player for him, perhaps in an R.A. Dickey trade. LA still has Vernon Wells on the roster as well, who is a very expensive fourth outfielder.
For the Rangers, who have traded away Michael Young and watched as Hamilton and Mike Napoli have left via free agency, you have to wonder what’s next. Michael Bourn is still on the market, as is Nick Swisher. They could simply decide to allow some of their young players to see some significant time on the field.