Skip to content

Shocker: Josh Hamilton signs a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels

Dec 13, 2012, 1:55 PM EDT

The hot stove season always takes unexpected turns, and this afternoon it took the most unexpected turn we’ve seen in some time.  Seemingly out of nowhere the Los Angeles Angels swooped in and signed Josh Hamilton.  Legendary L.A. radio man Joe McDonnell had the first news that a deal with close. Within an hour it was reported by multiple sources, starting with ESPN Dallas, that the Angels and Hamilton had reached deal.  Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi was the first to report that it was a five-year deal. The money: $125 million.

This makes it two years running that the Angels have signed the best available free agent hitter, with Albert Pujols coming into the fold.  It also marks the second straight year that the Angels have signed away the Rangers top departing free agent, with C.J. Wilson heading to the Angels last year as well.  The year before that Mike Napoli made a circuitous journey from Anaheim to the Rangers, helping Texas win the pennant.

This is the best rivalry in baseball now and it’s not even close.  Heck, maybe the second best rivalry — or rivalry to be — involves the Angels and the Dodgers.  Each L.A. team is lapping the field in terms of big money signings, with each fighting to become or remain the darlings of the nation’s second largest media market. It had appeared that the newly-free-spending Dodgers were regaining that title for keeps, but with Hamilton in the fold down in Orange County, the war for the hearts and minds of L.A. baseball fans is ON.

With the caveat that, yes, we said this last year too, it’s probably safe to say that the Angels are the favorites in the AL West. Their potential lineup is fantastic:

Trout CF
Callaspo 3B
Pujols 1B
Hamilton RF
Morales DH
Trumbo LF
Kendrick 2B
Iannetta C
Aybar SS

Or Trumbo could play third base with Hamilton in right, Trout in left and Peter Bourjos in center. And Vernon Wells is still knocking around. The point is, no matter what Mike Scioscia does, he has plenty of options to choose from. More importantly, so does GM Jerry Dipoto, who could now deal Trumbo or Bourjos for pitching help. R.A. Dickey, anyone?

Not that we can crown anyone just yet.  Again, we thought the Angels won it all with the Pujols and Wilson signings last year, and that didn’t work out.  And let’s remember, with respect to players they have in common — Mike Napoli and C.J. Wilson — the Rangers have done a pretty good job of out-evaluating the Angels over the past couple of years. Of course, that was before the Angels turned over their front office.

But no matter what happens, the AL West just got a lot more fun, and it already was the most fun division in baseball.

Latest Posts
  1. Denard Span activated from 7-day concussion disabled list

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    denard span getty Getty Images

    Denard Span had no issues during a brief minor league rehab assignment.

  2. Cesar Cabral designated for assignment by Yankees after rough night on the mound

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT

    Cesar Cabral AP AP

    Cesar Cabral was ejected after hitting three batters Friday against the Rays. And then his night got worse.

  3. Report: MLB likely to adjust rules for plays at home and transfer catches

    Apr 19, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

    transfer rule

    Adjustments to each rule could be made soon.

  4. VIDEO: Albert Pujols’ 497th career home run

    Apr 19, 2014, 9:21 AM EDT

    Albert Pujols AP AP

    Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is closing in on a milestone.

  5. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Apr 19, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT

    Aaron Hill AP AP

    They needed extra innings to do it, but the Diamondbacks snapped a six-game losing streak last night and finally got a win against the Dodgers.

  6. Unwritten rules lead to hard feelings in Astros-A’s game

    Apr 19, 2014, 3:24 AM EDT

    lowrie porter 2

    Can’t someone please write these things down so we can all keep track?

  7. Martin Maldonado literally hit the cover off of a baseball

    Apr 19, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT

    Martin Maldonado Martin Maldonado

    One of baseball’s older cliches came true on Friday night thanks to Martin Maldonado.

  8. Blue Jays activate Jose Reyes, place Adam Lind on the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

    Jose Reyes Jose Reyes

    The Blue Jays get a shortstop back, but lose their designated hitter.

  9. Jeff Samardzija says he wants a big-money contract to help future players

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija Jeff Samardzija

    Jeff Samardzija unselfishly wants to get paid. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

  10. White Sox place Donnie Veal on outright waivers

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    Donnie Veal Donnie Veal

    After consistent battles with his control, Donnie Veal ran out of chances with the White Sox.

  11. Jason Bartlett will retire after 10 years in the big leagues

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

    Jason Bartlett will call it quits after playing shortstop in the big leagues over ten seasons.

  12. Update: Luis Avilan loses Aaron Harang’s no-hitter with two outs in the eighth inning

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:19 PM EDT

    Aaron Harang Aaron Harang

    One of the most unlikely pitchers to throw a no-hitter is working on a no-hitter.

  13. Brewers sign Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Jeremy Jeffress Jeremy Jeffress

    The Brewers got their first round pick from the 2006 draft back.

  14. Diamondbacks activate Cody Ross from the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Getty Images

    The Diamondbacks will get some power back in their lineup as Cody Ross returns.

  15. Red Sox designate Ryan Roberts for assignment, call up Brock Holt

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Ryan Roberts Ryan Roberts

    Ryan Roberts wasn’t hitting; Brock Holt was, so the Red Sox decided to make a change with Will Middlebrooks still recovering from an injury.

  16. Pirates acquire Ike Davis in a trade with the Mets

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

    Ike Davis Ike Davis

    The Pirates and Mets each address their problems with an Ike Davis trade.

  17. Hanley Ramirez back in the Dodgers’ lineup Friday

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    Hanley Ramirez only spent one day out of the lineup after being hit in the hand with a fastball.

  18. Manny Machado could start a rehab assignment next week

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Manny Machado Manny Machado

    Manny Machado could soon take the next step towards returning to third base for the Orioles.

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5183)
  2. G. Springer (3757)
  3. K. Uehara (3409)
  4. M. Machado (3207)
  5. D. Pedroia (2916)
  1. J. Reyes (2817)
  2. J. Chavez (2752)
  3. H. Ramirez (2724)
  4. T. Walker (2644)
  5. C. Granderson (2545)