See, I told you so. Though truth be told, I didn’t really expect that Josh Hamilton would be signing with the Orange County Angels either, but that’s exactly what he’s done, for the discount price of $125 million over 5 years. Remember when people thought Hamilton wouldn’t get paid? Yeah, that was fun.
The great thing about this signing, like pretty much every move that’s happened this winter it seems, is the new questions it creates for us to chew over before the calendar flips to Satan’s Month. For example: in addition to an offense that includes Hamilton, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols, the Angels have an extra outfielder and an obvious need for starting pitching. Presumably that means they’ll be shopping Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos in the coming weeks, and there should be plenty of interest in both around the league. And what will the market for Nick Swisher do, now that Hamilton has gone to a team that wasn’t even apparently looking for an outfielder last week?
The big loser in the move, however, is obviously the Rangers, who are having an absolutely brutal offseason. First Zack Greinke spurns them for the Dodgers’ money, then Arizona pulls Justin Upton when they land their shortstop in Didi Gregerios, and now they’re losing Hamilton to their biggest division rival without even getting a chance to match the offer. The Rangers aren’t going to fall apart next season or anything, and there’s still plenty of options for them, but that’s a pretty incredible turn around for a team that was trying to land Greinke and Upton at the Winter Meetings, and proves that re-signing Hiroki Kuroda was, itself, a pretty big move for the Yankees.