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Jon Daniels: Josh Hamilton, Angels agree to five-year deal
Josh Hamilton has agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, according to Texas General Manager Jon Daniels. Hamilton, who played with the Rangers the past five seasons, will make $125 million during the life of his new five-year contract, according to Jon Heyman.
Daniels confirmed the Hamilton news at a Rangers luncheon, saying of the report "that's accurate." He was informed of Hamilton's move via the outfielder's agent.
Daniels said he was disappointed "to some degree."
"But it's business and everybody's got to make their own calls," he said.
The top free agent slugger on the market joins a deep lineup headed by Albert Pujols and American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout.
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP with a history of substance abuse issues, is a career .304 hitter in six seasons. The outfielder has 161 home runs, including a career-high 43 homers in 2012.
The move likely makes either outfielder Peter Bourjos or infielder/outfielder Mark Trumbo expendable for the Angels, so Hamilton's signing could have ripple effects outside of Anaheim.
The splashy signing follows a season and offseason of spending by the regional rival Dodgers, who've added Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Shane Victorino, Josh Beckett, Brandon League, Ryu-hyun Jin, Nick Punto and Randy Choate in the last several months. The Dodgers have also given pricey extensions to outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
It was widely expected that Hamilton would give the Rangers a chance to match whatever contract offer he intended to take. But several reports say that the Rangers were only told that Hamilton would be leaving for LA and were not given a chance to counter.
"I said all along tis wasn't like restricted free agency in the NFL, with an offer sheet," Daniels said. "I never expected that he was going to tell us to the dollar what they had, and a chance to offer it. Our full expectation was the phone call was going to be before he signed, and certainly not after."
Hamilton isn't the only recent defection to the Angels from the AL West-rival Rangers. Hamilton will join former Texas teammate C.J. Wilson in Los Angeles, a left-handed pitcher who signed with the Angels after the 2011 season.
"We indicated last week [Hamilton] told us that he felt it might be time to move on, but that we were still talking," Daniels said. "We had additional conversations this week. We thought they moved along in a positive direction, but apprently not."
-- with AP