Josh Hamilton to sign with Los Angeles Angels

Jeff Golden

Of Anaheim.

The Los Angeles Angels were supposed to be out of money. They were supposed to be looking for a pitcher. Instead, they're signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year deal, beating out the Rangers for the services of the 2010 MVP.

Edit: The deal is worth $125 million over five years.

The Angels were pushing to re-sign pitcher Zack Greinke, who landed with the Dodgers instead. The Angels were expected to take that money and go to the next pitcher on their list, whether it was Edwin Jackson or Anibal Sanchez. Instead, they're funneling those millions to Hamilton to make an interesting, crowded mess of an outfield and DH situation. It's the good kind of mess, at least for 2013.

The starting outfield in Anaheim projects to be Mike Trout in left, Peter Bourjos in center, and Hamilton in right. Mark Trumbo was supposed to play right, but he'll likely move to DH, unless there's another third-base experiment in the works. That leaves Kendrys Morales on the bench or on the block, most likely.

Hamilton hit .305/.363/.549 over five seasons with the Rangers, and the 31-year-old hit a career-high 43 home runs last season, including four in one game. On May 11, remember, Hamilton was hitting .407/.463/.873. Right around that point, pitchers stopped throwing him strikes because it turns out that's what they were supposed to do in the first place, but it was a good run while it lasted.

In the long term? The Angels are taking a big risk. In the short term? They got substantially better and a division rival got substantially worse. Mystery team, ahoy!

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