Josh Hamilton Signs With Angels Out of Nowhere

Let’s begin with the news: Josh Hamilton is a free agent no longer. As of Thursday, he’s agreed to a five-year contract with the Angels reportedly worth $125 million. That breaks down easily to come out to an average annual value of $25 million. As of Wednesday, the Rangers looked like the favorites to get Hamilton locked up, and it was said that Hamilton would give the Rangers a chance to match any offer before he committed himself to another organization. According to Jon Heyman, the Rangers were actually given no such chance, as they were simply told that Hamilton was leaving. Reports suggest the Rangers wouldn’t go higher than four years. The Angels gave five. Five is greater than four.

Now let’s follow with some recent history. The Angels weren’t even mentioned seriously as a Hamilton suitor until Thursday morning. It looked like it would be the Rangers, with the Mariners and the Phillies somewhere on the dark-horse periphery. In fact:

December 12, 2012 is one day before the Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year contract. If this sounds familiar, it’s because things were fairly similar a year ago, before the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson almost simultaneously. Selected old tweets of some note:

Jerry Dipoto downplayed the team’s interest in the big stars, and then the big stars were signed, with the Angels emerging only very late as a Pujols suitor. Pujols, remember, was going to be a Cardinal or a Marlin, until the Angels handed him a decade.

A lot of this, of course, isn’t Jerry Dipoto. A lot of this is Arte Moreno, who wants to win and who wants to win people over. Moreno, surely, was hurt by the 2012 Angels missing the playoffs, and Moreno, surely, hasn’t enjoyed seeing the Dodgers steal the spotlight. I don’t think Moreno and the Angels signed Hamilton only to compete with the other team in LA, but it was presumably a factor, as Moreno wants his team to be a sensation. He’s very conscious of PR concerns, and Hamilton was identified as a glorious opportunity. The Dodgers spent big, but the Angels spent last, and the Angels gave themselves and their fan base a considerable boost.

There’s going to be some relationship between this deal and the Angels’ lucrative TV contract. Before, the Angels looked like something of a cautionary tale — they signed Pujols and Wilson with their new money, but then this offseason they lost Zack Greinke and appeared to be near to their limits. Now with Hamilton, it’s clear they were not near to their limits at all, and one wonders where the limits might be. The Angels have demonstrated their massive spending potential, and while they won’t be the Dodgers in that regard, they can be close enough.

Now, as for the actual Hamilton part. Before we get to discussing the player, we can touch on the implications here for the rest of the market. The Rangers keep seeing potential acquisitions disappear. With Hamilton gone, too, they might turn their attention to Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn, guys who have had limited markets. That would put more pressure on the Indians and Mariners, who have had interest in those players, as Hamilton just landed with a mystery team. The Rangers have a clear need to upgrade but fewer and fewer obvious solutions. They could keep trying for R.A. Dickey, but they might now have competition — in the form of the Angels, again.

Hamilton joins an Anaheim outfield that previously included Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, and Vernon Wells. The Angels are now freer to deal Bourjos or Trumbo for help at another position, and they could target a starting pitcher. Bourjos has been in the center of rumors for quite some time, and his value is not as low as his most recent offensive statistics. Trumbo might be a tougher sell given his second-half collapse, but his power generates attention, and attention is value, in a way.

In terms of actual upgrades, it’s hard to declare that Hamilton represents one over 2012 — Torii Hunter was worth more than five wins, and he left a vacancy. But the priority for the Angels wasn’t really upgrading over 2012; it was upgrading over what they had upon 2012′s conclusion, and Hunter was already out of the picture. Hamilton, then, is obviously a significant add. He doesn’t guarantee a playoff berth, just as Hunter’s performance didn’t earn a playoff berth last season, but the Angels’ odds are better now than they were a few hours ago.

I feel like I don’t even need to really discuss Hamilton as a player, given how often he’s already been discussed over the previous months. You have a good feel for what he is, and what his risks might be. He’s 31 years old, which means he’s probably not getting better. He’s proven to be somewhat injury-prone, and while that didn’t stop him from getting into 148 games most recently, he’s also probably not getting more durable. Plenty of people are concerned about Hamilton’s history of substance abuse, since he has the potential to relapse, and since people don’t quite understand what, if any, long-term effects said substance abuse might’ve had.

But to me, the biggest risk here is something else. There’s no question that Hamilton was the most mysterious free agent baseball’s had in a long time. For two months last year, he was almost impossible to retire, but then things changed somewhat significantly. Hamilton’s final numbers were outstanding, even adjusted for park, but he struck out in a quarter of his plate appearances. From June on, he struck out even more often than that. After posting contact rates around 74% earlier in his career, last year he dropped to 65%. Last year Josh Hamilton made less-frequent contact than Miguel Olivo. Last year Josh Hamilton made less-frequent contact than Cliff Lee. Some splits:

Time Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing%
Before June 36% 57% 68% 83% 43%
From June On 38% 57% 63% 82% 42%

Even Adam Dunn has never posted a contact rate as low as Josh Hamilton just did, and Adam Dunn has always been able to walk. Dunn, for his career, has walked (unintentionally) in 15% of his plate appearances. Last year, Hamilton drew unintentional walks in under eight percent of his plate appearances. He finished with 47 unintentional walks and 162 strikeouts, and the year before his walk numbers were even worse. Hamilton, too often, got himself out. When he wasn’t mashing dingers. Which he frequently was.

We haven’t really seen a season like Hamilton’s 2012, with so much success but so many red flags. Which makes Hamilton more difficult to project going forward. If you want to do it the simple way, the last three years Hamilton has been worth 5.8 WAR per 600 plate appearances. Now drop that a little, because his MVP campaign came in 2010, and drop that a little more, because he’s aging. Then there’s the more complicated way. Does Hamilton’s contact rebound? Which didn’t belong — Hamilton’s contact rate, or Hamilton’s 140 wRC+? Which will regress? Which will regress more, if the answer to the first question is “both”?

It’s not like Hamilton’s 2012 finish clears things up. in September/October, he posted a 126 wRC+ while whiffing with four of every nine swings. Maybe this is just what Hamilton will be, and he’ll prove to be historically unique in that regard. Maybe this approach is sustainable, for him. It’s a hell of a chance to take, but then, Hamilton is a hell of a natural talent, with a hell of a track record. It’s entirely possible we’ve all just been overthinking this to death. Hamilton’s long been good. The Angels are betting that he’ll continue to be good. Baseball is easy.

In 2012, Mike Trout led baseball in WAR. In 2010, Josh Hamilton led baseball in WAR. That same year, Albert Pujols led the National League in WAR. The Angels haven’t necessarily built a champion; the Angels haven’t even necessarily built a playoff team. But damned if the Angels aren’t ballsy and loud. It’s going to be nothing short of fascinating to see how this works out.




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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


144 Responses to “Josh Hamilton Signs With Angels Out of Nowhere”

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  1. JS7 says:

    Josh Hamilton around the LA scene? Not a good mix.

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    • Bradley says:

      What do you mean?

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      • rusty says:

        Disneyland is just miles from Angels Stadium — and once you’ve been to the Happiest Place on Earth, nowhere else can give you that same rush.

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      • JIMMY says:

        It’s not like Hamilton is going to be living in Compton.

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      • Pumpkin says:

        I don’t think he was referring to Compton. Hollywood can sometimes makes Compton look like a peaceful Midwestern suburb. Parties, nightlife, celebrities, drugs, alcohol, floozies, gossip mags, porn stars, stalkers, drugs, weekends in Vegas, Charlie Sheen, rappers, musicians, fast cars, Lindsay Lohan, drugs, drugs, and more drugs. LA has them all in abundance plus a thousand more potential distractions I probably forgot. Remember this is the same city that nearly destroyed Matt Kemp a few years back.

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    • RMD says:

      He’ll have to spend a lot of time at Disneyland.

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    • geefee says:

      Call me cynical if you want, I think Josh Hamilton’s “recovery” has an element of bullshit to it. Yeah, he was a strung out junkie at one point, so partying might not be great for him. Sure. But I get the feeling that his religious awakening and 12 stepping might have just been what teams wanted to hear so he’d get a shot. The NA/AA model isn’t inerrant. There are a lot of people out there, and I know a few, who have had serious drug “problems” (bearing in mind that drug addiction is only a problem if/when it creates other problems), got over them, and still drink, maybe even do some drugs, maybe even regularly, and they do all of that without turning into junkies again. Josh Hamilton’s been caught drinking a couple times now (and if you think those are the only times he’s done it, I have a bridge to sell you), and so far so good.

      Besides what’s “the LA scene” to a guy with $125 million who originally become a drug addict in the middle of nowhere?

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      • Statement says:

        I disagree,

        Went you are as far down the rabbit-hole as Josh was, you can never drink or drug again, or you will in time, be back where you were.

        To your friends, God bless them and hopefully they don’t become junkies again.

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      • LuckyStrikes says:

        You should read his book and then make that call.

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      • Peanut says:

        I like to drug

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      • slackerjack says:

        Josh Hamilton falls into the category of people who cannot have just one drink. Or just one toke. Or just one any <>.

        The only solution for a guy built like him is to abstain.

        And Los Angeles ain’t exactly the land of abstinence.

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    • Nik says:

      Let me assure you that a Major League Baseball player can afford whatever his vice is regardless of the city he calls home.

      +20 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AA says:

      You obviously don’t live in L.A. – the town that rolls up the sidewalks at 11:30.

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    • Daniel says:

      I think you are clueless as to how socal works. It is endless city after endless city. Each city is completely different from the next. Anaheim is nothing like Los Angeles. There are plenty of cities in between that are nothing like either of them. There is no “LA scene.” That’s just nonsensical.

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    • Snoth says:

      Disneyland has a bar in it

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    • Monroe says:

      No matter how much Arte Moreno would like to pretend, Anaheim is not in Los Angeles.

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    • Baltar says:

      You’ve never been to SoCal if you equate Anaheim with LA.

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  2. Sbug says:

    Signing the best free agent hitter worked well for them last season too!

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Jerry Narron says:

    Round up the crew, body shots are on me! I mean, they’re on Josh but I’ll pay for them…!

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  4. Slats says:

    Wow – what an overpay.

    Especially for a guy who quit on his team in the second half of last season and has problems off the field.

    -30 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. steve says:

    AND they’ve got Vernon Wells!

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  6. This is sort of like the exact same thing as the Torii Hunter signing, right? They signed the most expensive free agent center fielder on the market, despite signs that his age would prevent him from playing much center field in the future.

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  7. Rippers says:

    Pujols and Hamilton should be called the “Bash Brothers in Christ.”

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  8. Slats Attack says:

    Angels Bandwagon has increased by over 9000%

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  9. Lindsay Lohan says:

    If you need a sober driver give me a call!

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  10. RMD says:

    This was as much to weaken Texas’ roster as it is to add to their own. They’ve essentially had to double down after the Pujols/Wilson signings. As much as I love Oakland, they’re not going to the playoffs next year. The Angels are a great bet to make the playoffs the next two years. Overall, I think it was a good move.

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    • Tim A says:

      Oakland’s fate depends on two factors. How good a short stop Billy manages to wrangle in, and what he has to give up to get it. The bigger factor though is, do the kids take a step forward or back. I like the future outlook though, bad money and a depleted farm system, that will either get thinner on talent, or their rotation will keep looking like a serious hole. JW breaks his elbow, and they pitch to the tune of the 2012 Rockies.

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  11. Schuxu says:

    So Jeff, as a Mariners fan, are you happy about this development or not?

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  12. TKDC says:

    Somewhere, Scott Boras and Michael Bourn are laughing and thinking about how much they can squeeze out of the now desperate Rangers. My guess is he gets “the Jose Reyes” at least.

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    • Aggie E says:

      Why would Texas sign Bourne. They get similar defense and speed from Martin/Gentry. No way they even look at Bourne. I just hope they have any interest in Swisher…

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      • Aggie E says:

        Dont have interest

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      • chuckb says:

        Swisher would be an outstanding get in Texas. He could play the OF or 1B when Moreland sits against lefties.

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      • TKDC says:

        First, those two guys are not equal to Bourn in defense/speed. That’s ridiculous. Second, I’m not saying they should go after Bourn, but it just seems like they will. Sometimes when a team keeps missing out, that’s when they throw way too much money at a guy. It’s not a unheard of phenomenon.

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      • TX Ball Scout says:

        Gentry is equal to Bourn in defense and speed. But doesn’t handle RHP.

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      • Robbie G. says:

        Aren’t they presumably going to move either Elvis Andrus to CF (allowing Jurickson Profar to be the everyday SS) or Ian Kinsler to CF or maybe RF (allowing Profar to be an everyday player, probably at 2B), sign a SP (or trade for one), and call it a day at this point? I still love that roster going forward.

        Michael Bourn to Seattle?

        Nick Swisher to Philly?

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  13. Jeffrey Loria says:

    $25 million a season? That’s our payroll next season.

    +33 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. ralph says:

    Man, the Rangers are having a rough offseason. It’s admirable they have such confidence in their player development system, but with an aging core I’m not sure it makes sense to put full faith in their system right now.

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    • Aggie E says:

      What part of their core is aging? Beltre and Kinsler?

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      • ralph says:

        And Cruz. With Andrus (and Cruz) aging closer to free agency. And Naopli and Hamilton gone. So that’s six core players for whom there are serious questions about the quality of contributions they’ll provide in two years. This offseason might be throwing away one of those next two years.

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      • placidity says:

        The question is, what part of their core is getting younger?

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      • Aggie E says:

        If tehy resign Hamilton, Napoli and keep Young does that mean they would have made the right decisions??? No….So tehy are damned if they do and damned if they dont. I prefer they save the money for betetr options going forward…

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      • ralph says:

        Relatively speaking, for example, their OF would be getting younger if Leonys Martin is a regular next year, since he’s not currently part of their core.

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      • ralph says:

        It’s not about keeping last year’s core intact, but about supporting what’s left of the core for the next year or two.

        And FWIW I’m not counting Young as part of their core. Unless you like rotten cores.

        I agree that signing Hamilton wasn’t in their best interest. Napoli probably would have been a fine resign, however. (Although given the issues Napoli and the Red Sox are having nailing down the contract, maybe there was some inside info there playing into not re-signing him.) The biggest thing is that not getting Greinke could be a huge mistake in retrospect.

        Swisher and others are still out there, so they’re not doomed yet of course.

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  15. bryan says:

    trumbo’s available, eh? is a phil hughes/mark trumbo swap all that illogical?

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    • chuckb says:

      Why would the Yankees trade a starting pitcher?

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      • bryan says:

        its probably the only thing they have to trade… they have hughes, nova, and phelps for 2 spots; hughes is a FA after this year (and from CA to boot, if that even remotely matters). If nothing else, they could offer any of those three and find a replacement on the FA market that would be relatively cheap to be an injury replacement… just a thought.

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      • Brandon T says:

        Is Hughes really a starting pitcher? With a FIP more than a run lower as a reliever than a starter, he might be worth more in the pen…

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    • John says:

      Interesting – former Century League opponents. As pitchers.

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    • fjtorres says:

      Trumbo’s young power is going to draw attention. Unless they choose to move Morales and DH him. But since they need pitching…
      Let’s see who needs power:
      Cleveland – Masterson is available: good 2011/bad 2012–Pretty much a value match for Trumbo, no?
      Mets – Dickey might be a match for Trumbo *or* Bourjos, maybe some spare part on the both sides.
      Cubbies – Matt Garza might need a bit more than Trumbo.
      Things are going to get interesting…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Garza and Soriano for Trumbo and Bourjos. Teach Wells to bat left handed and voila! What an awesome OF the Angels would boast!

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  16. James says:

    The Angels are going to come crashing down like the Phillies did last season. You can have short term success spending boat loads of cash on older players, but long term this is a poor idea.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      Yea, because the Phillies have Mike Trout, or anything at all resembling a young core, or a farm. Pujols>Howard, Hamilton>any other player on the Phillies. The Angels also didn’t make the mistake of signing 30 year old pitchers long term.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • cable fixer says:

        phillies have a young farm though. it’s in houston.

        +16 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        The Phillies had Howard, Utley, Rollins, and the great pitchers. They won an average of about 95 games over a 5-year stretch. If the Angels are so much better, I look forward to their string of 100-win seasons.

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    • TKDC says:

      I think it’s going to happen even faster. Yeah, they have Trout, which is better than the Phils cost-controlled players (mainly Hamels), but these guys are all on the wrong side of 30 to begin with. The Phils stocked up an already good team to make it great. The Angels took an average team and spent buttloads to merely make it competitive in the short-term.

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      • John says:

        Huh? Only Pujols and Hamilton will be over 30 years old in the Angels lineup. And those two aren’t THAT old, either.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        There is 30, 31, 32 “over 30″ and then there is 33, 34, 35 “over 30″. Hamilton and Holes are the good kind.

        Also, the Angels aren’t at all as bogged down with old players as the Phillies. The Angels rotation kinda sucks right now, but I’m guessing they fix that.

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      • TKDC says:

        That is quite a stretch there bananas and quite an omission by John. Hamilton is 32 in 2013 and Pujols is 33. You forgot about C.J. Wilson (32) and Vernon Wells (34), who will cost them an extra 30-40 million each of the next 3 years (4 for Wilson), and provided 1 WAR combined last year (though regression should help Wilson a bit, Wells is dead weight).

        That is almost $100 on four guys who are at least 32 in 2013. And I’m not saying they aren’t going to be good in 2013. The Phillies had a 5-year run atop the NL East before falling last year. So far, the Angels are at zero. You think this group will come close to a run of great years like the Phillies had?

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      • AA says:

        How does Hamels qualify as “cost-controlled” anymore?

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      • Peanut says:

        Because his costs are controlled?

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      • TKDC says:

        He was cost-controlled (at a low cost) 2007-11 when they were good.

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    • Gregg Ginn says:

      So true. Just like the Yankees, right?

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  17. Antonio Bananas says:

    I think the most interesting part of this is that it now basically forces the Rangers to trade Profar or Andrus and Olt to compete.

    It’s a catch 22 though, Arizona would like Profar or Andrus (maybe still, who knows after Gregorious), the Mets probably wouldn’t be as high on Olt. Maybe Olt and Perez to the Mets for Dickey and Andrus to the D’Bags for Upton?

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    • octelium says:

      D’bags….

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    • Kazinski says:

      How so? Move Kinsler to the outfield put Profar in at second.

      And with Young gone and Olt up, they might even be better than they were last year. Hamilton and Young were worth a combined 3.0 fWAR last year. Olt and Profar could end up being worth 3.0 each next year. Admittedly that is a higher risk proposition than Hamilton, but it is a distinct possibility.

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  18. Frank Sinatra says:

    I can attest it’s harder to find balls with blue eyes, but much easier to find blondes. 125mil doesn’t hurt either.

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  19. Jason H says:

    ….they’re not going to be a whole lot of fun to pitch to… It seems like a lot of money and years for a guy with his history. ….but the Angel’s window is in the next few years. Might as well go for it!

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  20. jim says:

    so if they were going to spend this kind of money, why didn’t they sign greinke?

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      Pitcher, maybe saw something in him since they have the inside information.

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    • Steve says:

      Because if the Angels offered Greinke $150M, the Dodgers simply offer $160M.

      Signing a player takes the consent of more than one party.

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      • jim says:

        but they didn’t even make greinke an offer at all, and now they’ve spent a collective $137m/7years on joe blanton and josh hamilton

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    • Sparkles Peterson says:

      The Angels have never been a sabermetrically-inclined front office, so I’m not sure that the Greinke infatuation was ever that real. If you’re not much of a believer in FIP and its ilk, you look at Greinke as the most overpaid #2 starter in MLB history.

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    • joser says:

      Because they’d rather trade for someone else?

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    • Fletch says:

      Wiser to spend long term money on bats, not arms?

      Angels blew something like 25 saves last year. They convert half of those and they are a 100+ win team. Yet people are sitting here calling them a “mediocre” or “average” team? Funny.

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      • Sparkles Peterson says:

        22. They convert half of those, and they are one of the best teams in baseball at converting save opportunities.

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      • jim says:

        the message the angels have been sending this offseason has been that they don’t have the cash to shell out a mega deal, when clearly, they did

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  21. Tim A says:

    The lineups nice, but the money will get bad sooner rather then later on several of these, compounded by the fact that they heavily back loaded these deals. The two things I point out are, they have a pretty sketchy depth chart 7-9, and they have what could be a real piece of garbage time rotation. Hanson, Blanton, Richards, with only Williams for depth seems very mediocre in the hard hitting ALW.

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    • Dean Travers says:

      What team besides the Angels is “hard hitting” in the ALW?

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      • Tim A says:

        Rangers by default, and the A’s did hit a shit ton of HR in a pitchers park. Oakland’s young and getting better with a good farm. I might be way off here, but I actually think the M’s will bring in a bat or two through trade’s or FA, and they also have a young team on the upswing peak wise. The Astro’s can’t hit, but they can’t do anything well, but outside of the newcomers this division is a couple smart moves by the M’s away from having four strong teams with Texas not as far in front as they were, but the Angel’s far from favorites. The Angles are also not getting a FR draft pick for Hamilton, and will easily be last in farm talent by the time Houston gets its first pick next year, and dumps whatever short term guys they can scoop late, at next years deadline.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      If this team played in Arlington, maybe, but it’s a pitcher’s park. I agree with you, this signing isn’t as huge as a lot of people are making it out to be.

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    • Cdub says:

      You are missing on a crucial point. They will trade Bourjos and Richards for R.A. Dickey.

      So Weaver, Dickey, CJ Wilson, Hanson and Blanton is not too shabby, to go along with a better bullpen than last year.

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      • Tim A says:

        So they lose five years of Richard’s heading into his peak for one year of RA this really would be a win now, damn the future move, with zero depth for injury.

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      • Mark says:

        Unfortunately this isn’t a video game and the Mets have the ability to reject trades.

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      • vivalajeter says:

        Tim, the “five years of control!” thing is getting played out these days. You don’t want to lose 5 years of control over Myers, Profar, etc. Richards, however, is not the caliber of player that you avoid trading just because of years of control. His upside is, what, a 3-4 starter? This isn’t a future ace they’d be giving up, and if they can get a current ace (with the chance to extend him for 2 more years) then that could be more meaningful than a cheap back of the rotation starter.

        It doesn’t really matter though, because I can’t picture the Mets considering that deal. Their pitching is decent, and I doubt they’d allow a defense-first CF to be the headliner in a trade.

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    • Fletch says:

      Choosing to ignore Weaver and CJ Wilson in the rotation?

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  22. tz says:

    So what’s more likely to happen:

    – Rays make a play for Bourjos
    – Royals make a play for Wells.

    +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Pogue009 says:

    That Holliday contract just keeps looking better 7/120 with 15 million deferred

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    • James says:

      Two totally different offseasons. With the influx in cash you might as well be saying “wow 75,000 for Babe Ruth keeps looking better”

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  24. Slatsattack says:

    Everyone is forgetting the Angels got Blanton too!

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  25. Don Mynack says:

    In the AL West, you have to keep adding power to survive. Don’t forget that division just added the Astros.

    //Astros fans cry on the inside and he outside

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  26. joser says:

    He’s also going from a home park that’s very friendly to LH power hitters to one not-so-friendly. His OPS+ in Angels stadium relative to his career mark is 70, though that was against Angels pitching, of course; but the park factors in the “guts” section here or at StatCorner agree. While the A’s and M’s home parks understandably get all the attention for pitcher-friendliness, for a LH hitter Anaheim is no treat either.

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  27. Sean Corp says:

    Pardon my ignorance but do the Angels have the pitching to compete for a playoff spot? In other words, does this move only make sense if they also go out and spend $75 million on Anibal Sanchez?

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  28. Chone Figgins says:

    All the Angels need now is a Figlet reunion.

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  29. Average_Casey says:

    This will be interesting. You take a guy with huge contact issues and a checkered past that’s also riddled with injuries and throw him into one of the most tempting cities in the country. Then, you give him a five year deal which everyone thinks is probably a year or two too long. My gut feel is that this will blow up as Josh Hamilton scared the crap out of me as a free agent but it could work very well for the Angels. I know that if I pitched in the majors, I don’t think I would want Hamilton and Pujols back to back.

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  30. Fletch says:

    Anaheim is one of the most tempting cities in america? Clearly you dont know your California Geography.

    Anaheim, and Orange County, is bland, boring, cookie cutter suburbia. They living there is being behind “The Orange Curtain” for a reason….it’s a sheltered white bubble.

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  31. stan says:

    Did I miss the announcement that the luxury tax doesn’t apply to LA teams?

    I think this is a total reflex move to the Dodgers making big splashes this offseason. Its a big overpay.

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    • Cdub says:

      They Angels are way under the luxury tax threshold. This puts them at around $160mil, about $29mil under. They are still way shy of the Yanks and Dodgers, closer to that group of teams under them: Phillies, Giants, Tigers etc

      Currently only the Yanks and Dodgers would pay the luxury tax, and the Yanks are said to be getting their payroll under by next year.

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      • Tom says:

        Luxury tax threshold this year is 174mil (or 178?).

        Also you can’t just use payroll #’s.
        - There’s about 10-12mil in benefits that goes into the #
        - Then you have the AAV aspect vs actual yearly salary. Pujols contract is backloaded so his AAV # is greater than actual salary this year. Weaver and Wilson also are in the same boat (but that’s more like a mil or two type difference)

        I think there’s a good chance they go over this year (but it’s a low tax rate for a first time offender) and next year the # jumps up to 189mil which should allow them to go back under if they want to. Even if they are say 20mil over, you are “only” talking another 3-4mil in tax

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  32. James says:

    Tweet from Torii Hunter: “I was told money was tight but I guess the Arte had money under the mattress. Business is business but don’t lie.”

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  33. Jaker says:

    Hamilton did have issues with ocular keratitis (eyes drying out) from drinking too much caffeine. Though it was diagnosed late in the season, maybe it was affecting him as early as June. Might partly explain his contact rate decline. Still something to keep an eye on. Pun intended.

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    • Jaker says:

      His UZR was also atrocious last year (possibly again related to the eyes). As a DH, his WAR would have been far higher.

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      • Cdub says:

        He still had a positive UZR in left, which is where he will likely play. I also think last year was a UZR fluke compared to his previous years in Texas.

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  34. drewcorb says:

    The Angels better keep Josh Hamilton away from Mike Trout.

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  35. stanley says:

    Best put by Jamey Newberg (http://www.newbergreport.com/article.asp?articleid=2839)

    He’s streaky. He’s undisciplined. He’s brittle, if not unreliable.
    He can be, as he’s reminded us, “very deceptive, very sneaky in a lot of ways” when he wants. His unpredictability is completely predictable. It’s him, Josh, it’s gonna be something weird.
    He’s deeply flawed to the point at which he’s an unusually risky long-term proposition.
    And I wanted him back here.
    But not at any cost.

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