|Josh Hamilton and his big bat are headed out of Texas. (US Presswire)|
Free-agent slugger Josh Hamilton has agreed to sign with the Angels. The deal is for five years and $125 million, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. The mutual interest between Hamilton and the Angels was first reported Thursday by Joe McDonnell of Fox Sports West.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has been informed that Hamilton is going to play for the Angels. And in an interesting twist: According to Daniels (via Danny Knobler), the Rangers were never given a chance to match the Angels' offer. They were simply told Hamilton was off the market.
Hamilton, 31, hit .285/.354/.577 with 43 homers, 128 RBI and 103 runs last season for the Rangers, finishing fifth in AL MVP voting. He's one of baseball's elite power hitters when healthy, but it's worth noting Hamilton averaged only 129 games played per season in his five years in Texas.
The signing seems to have come from nowhere by the Angels, who have said for weeks they weren't looking to spend big this offseason -- at least not on a position player. Then again, it shouldn't be a total shock considering we were given the same song and dance last season before they swooped in and signed both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
Speaking of which, adding Hamilton creates a logjam in the outfield that could easily lead to a trade this offseason. Both Trumbo and Peter Bourjos are well-regarded around baseball and could feasibly land the Angels pitching in return.
As far as Hamilton's former team, the Rangers still have a position-player nucleus of Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus with several young players ready to make an impact. Still, as things stand, it appears they could now use an offensive upgrade.