Josh Hamilton is heading to the Los Angeles Angels, lured with a $125 million, five-year contract that steps up the migration of high-profile...
LOS ANGELES — Josh Hamilton is heading to the Los Angeles Angels, lured with a $125 million, five-year contract that steps up the migration of high-profile stars to Southern California.
The Angels persuaded the free-agent outfielder to leave the Texas Rangers with their third big-money offseason signing in as many years. Hamilton heads to Anaheim after first baseman Albert Pujols came West for $240 million last December along with pitcher C.J. Wilson — Hamilton’s Texas teammate — for $77.5 million.
Still, the Angels failed to make the playoffs for the third straight year.
They had bulked up their pitching staff earlier in the offseason with the additions of pitchers Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson, along with relievers Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson.
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General manager Jerry Dipoto had said Wednesday that he didn’t think a major move was “imminent or required.”
But owner Arte Moreno pulled off another coup by getting Hamilton. The 2010 AL MVP, Pujols and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout combined for 103 home runs and 316 runs batted in last season.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Hamilton had reached a deal with the AL West rival Angels. Two people familiar with the talks disclosed the amount and length of the contract, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.
Hamilton’s $25 million average salary matches Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard for the second-highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez’s $27.5 million average with the New York Yankees.
Since the contract wasn’t final, the Angels didn’t comment publicly.
Daniels said he was disappointed “to some degree,” especially since the Rangers never got a chance to match any offer during the process, as they had expected. Or at least get contacted before Hamilton agreed with another team.
Hamilton would presumably play left field for the Angels, with Trout in center and Mark Trumbo in right.
The Angels are taking a risk with the Hamilton deal, beyond the obvious gamble involved in any contract of that size.
Hamilton has had trouble staying healthy over the past few years. He has played more than 135 games only twice in the past six seasons. Even in his MVP season in 2010, he missed the final month of the regular season. He played 148 games in 2012, but he was fighting through injuries for much of the second half, when his performance slumped. Hamilton hit .245 in September.
Hamilton also has a well-chronicled history of addiction.
Ichiro, Yankees close in on deal
NEW YORK — Ichiro and the New York Yankees are closing in on a contract that would guarantee the outfielder between $12 million and $13 million.
A person familiar with the negotiations said the agreement likely would be for a two-year deal.
The Yankees initially approached Ichiro about a one-year deal, but other suitors such as the Phillies emerged with multiyear offers, Newsday reported.
Acquired from the Mariners on July 23, the 39-year-old Ichiro revived his career in New York.
He batted .261 with four homers, 28 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 95 games with the Mariners, then hit .322 with five homers, 27 RBI and 14 steals in 67 games for the Yankees to help them win the AL East crown.
A 10-time All-Star, Ichiro has 2,606 hits in 12 major-league seasons.
• The Boston Red Sox agreed to terms with right-hander Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said. The Red Sox finalized their three-year, $39 million deal with outfielder Shane Victorino.
• The Minnesota Twins finalized a $10 million, two-year contract with right-hander Kevin Correia.
• Outfielder Andres Torres is returning to the San Francisco Giants on a one-year, $2 million contract.
• The Cincinnati Reds and free-agent infielder Jack Hannahan finalized a $4 million, two-year contract, giving the team added depth at third base.
• A federal appeals court will hear Barry Bonds’ appeal of his obstruction-of-justice conviction Feb. 13 in San Francisco.