The Los Angeles Angels have signed the biggest bat of the offseason two years in a row now that they have landed Josh Hamilton on a five-year, $125 million deal, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
Hamilton, still 31, has had serious problems with drugs and alcohol in the past, but he has put that behind him and has become one of the biggest bats in baseball. He hit .285/.354/.577 last season and is a career .304/.363/.549 hitter. He also plays solid defense at all three outfield positions, although he is better on the corners. Ham is a bit of an injury risk, but when he’s healthy and staying out of trouble there is no doubt he’s one of the best in the game.
With Nick Swisher leaving the Yankees this offseason and Alex Rodriguez on the shelf for at least half of the season a lot of Yankees fan, myself included, hoped that they would at least consider signing Hamilton. They did do a background check on him indicating some level of interest, but with the payroll being reduced to $189 million by 2014 they never got serious.
An interesting part in this whole thing was that the Rangers were never given a chance to match or outbid the Angels offer and their GM Jon Daniels was upset about it, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Rangers have already had a poor offseason and with improvements to the Angels will not be the favorites in the AL West next season. Expect them to try to salvage the offseason by going after Swisher now.