Josh Hamilton is going from the Texas Rangers to the rival Los Angeles Angels. Hamilton has agreed to a contract with the Angels, deal is worth $125 million over 5 years. Hamilton is 31 years old. The Rangers admitted that they hoped to retain Hamilton, a 5 time All Star and the 2010 American League MVP, and said the team wasn’t given a chance to match the Angels offer. Hamilton’s $25 million average salary will match that of the Philadelphia Phillies 1st baseman Ryan Howard for the 2nd highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez’s $27.5 million average with the New York Yankees. Hamilton joins a team that spent big last offseason to add 1st baseman Albert Pujols for $240 million over 10 years and pitcher CJ Wilson for $77.5 million over 5 years. Yet the Angles disappointed and failed to make the playoffs last season. Hamilton’s addition to the Angels outfield means Mark Trumbo could be moved to 3rd base or traded. Peter Bourjos and Vernon Wells also are among Angels outfielders competing for time unless a trade is made. Angels manager Mike Scioscia will have an interesting decision to make on where in the batting order to slot Pujols, AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout and Hamilton. The agreement with Hamilton cam days after the Los Angeles Dodgers signed pitchers Zack Greinke and Ryu Hyun-jin boosting their payroll to more than $200 million. Hamilton was considered a risk by some teams because of his history of alcohol and substance abuse, which derailed his career before his surge with the Rangers the past 5 seasons. Hamilton belted a career high 43 home runs with 128 RBIs in 148 games last season, when the Rangers struggled down the stretch and lost the division to the Oakland Athletics on the final day of the regular season.
What a surprise and this came out of nowhere. I think that it is a good move by both teams. The Los Angeles Angels already have a high pay roll and stars like Albert Pujols and Mike Trout but adding Josh Hamilton makes them look dangerous on paper. The Angels also have to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who has been making a lot of moves and getting a lot of buzz around town. Josh Hamilton has been playing great for the Texas Rangers and has taken them to a couple of World Series. The Rangers should of paid him, knowing that he is the biggest free agent out there and not let him sign with a division rival. I also think that a chance of scenery and a fresh start will be good for Hamilton. With this move, it makes the LA Angels early favorites to win the division with good pitching and stars like Hamilton, Pujols and Trout. I can’t wait to see if the Angels are going to be all hype in LA like the Lakers or are they going to live up to their expectations.