Josh Hamilton headed to Angels
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels confirmed Thursday that Hamilton agreed to a contract with the Angels. Multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN that the deal is worth $125 million over five years.
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The Angels have not officially confirmed the signing but have scheduled a news conference for Saturday. The team sent out a news release Friday saying it plans to make a major announcement Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Speaking Thursday after a Rangers holiday luncheon, Daniels said, "That's accurate," when asked whether Hamilton had joined the Angels, claiming he had been informed of the decision by the slugger's agent, Mike Moye.
Daniels admitted the Rangers had hoped to retain Hamilton, a five-time All-Star and the 2010 American League MVP, and said the team wasn't given a chance to match the Angels' offer.
"Our full expectation was that the phone call was going to be before he signed, certainly not after and giving us an idea," Daniels said.
Hamilton's agent, Mike Moye, declined to confirm that an agreement is in place with the Angels. But he told ESPN that there was no understanding that the Rangers would receive a final chance to lock up Hamilton before he signed with another club.
"Reports in the media that we gave the Rangers the right to match offers were simply erroneous," Moye said.
Hamilton's $25 million average salary will match that of Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard for second highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million average with the New York Yankees.
Hamilton joins a team that spent big last offseason to add first baseman Albert Pujols for $240 million over 10 years and pitcher C.J. Wilson for $77.5 million over five years. Yet the Angels disappointed and failed to make the playoffs last season.
Hamilton's addition to the Angels' outfield means Mark Trumbo could be moved to third base or traded. Peter Bourjos and Vernon Wells also are among Angels outfielders competing for time unless a trade is made.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia will have an interesting decision to make on where in the batting order to slot Pujols, AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout and Hamilton.
Hamilton was considered a risk by some teams because of his history of alcohol and substance abuse, which derailed his career before his surge with the Rangers the past five seasons.
Daniels said Hamilton indicated last week that it "might be time to move on" from the Rangers, but the two sides still were talking.
He expressed disappointment Thursday that his club didn't at least get a chance to "have a conversation" with the slugger before he agreed to the deal with the Angels.
"I thought we had additional conversations this week that had moved it along in a positive direction," Daniels said. "Apparently not. It's business and everybody has to make their own calls, and he has a family to look out for. I get it.
Hamilton By The Ballpark
Josh Hamilton has more career plate appearances at Angel Stadium than any other ballpark, other than Rangers Ballpark. The bad news for Angels fans, however, is that his numbers have been less than stellar in Anaheim.
Josh Hamilton Career Stats By Ballpark
|AB per HR||15.5||30.0|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
"Josh has done a lot for the organization. The organization has done a lot for Josh -- a lot of things that aren't public and things of that nature. I'm a little disappointed in how it was handled, but he had a decision to make and he made it."
Daniels said he believed the Angels' offer was "certainly more guaranteed money" than what the Rangers offered. However, he declined to discuss specific details of Texas' offer.Daniels wouldn't say whether the club would have matched the Angels' offer.
"I was told money was tight but I guess the Arte had money hidden under a Mattress. Business is business but don't lie," Hunter tweeted.
Hunter, who signed a two-year deal worth $26 million with Detroit, subsequently attempted to downplay his initial reaction. The veteran outfielder posted a series of tweets congratulating the Angels on the acquisition of Hamilton.
"Just keeping it real!!," he tweeted. "I'm not upset just have fun with it."
Hamilton's camp also had reportedly met with the Seattle Mariners last week at baseball's winter meetings.
SportsNation: Hamilton To Angels
Marquee free agent Josh Hamilton has signed a five-year deal with the Angels. Will he lead them to the World Series?
• Cast your votes!
Hamilton belted a career-high 43 home runs with 128 RBIs in 148 games last season, when the Rangers struggled down the stretch and lost the division to Oakland on the final day of the regular season.
Texas then lost in the winner-take-all wild-card game against Baltimore, and Hamilton was lustily booed by Rangers fans while going 0-for-4 -- twice striking out on three pitches, including an inning-ending out in the eighth with a runner in scoring position when it was still a 3-1 game.
That came after Hamilton dropped a routine popup in the regular-season finale two days earlier, a two-out tiebreaking miscue that allowed the A's to score two runs and go ahead to stay. He missed five games on a September trip because of a cornea problem he said was caused by too much caffeine and energy drinks -- and had one homer with 18 strikeouts in the final 10 regular-season games after returning.
Hamilton has hit .304 with 161 homers in his six major league seasons, the first with Cincinnati. In May against Baltimore, he became only the 16th major league player with a four-homer game as part of a 5-for-5 night that included a double.
Information from ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Ben Rogers, ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and The Associated Press was used in this report.