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Hamilton agrees to $125M, 5-year deal with Angels

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm •  Published: December 13, 2012
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The agreement came days after the Los Angeles Dodgers added pitchers Zack Greinke and Ryu Hyun-jin, boosting their payroll over $200 million. Greinke, another offseason target, said he chose the Dodgers over the Rangers.

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 the outfielders competing for time unless a trade is made.

Scioscia will have an interesting decision to make on where in the batting order to slot in Pujols, Trout and Hamilton, a five-time All-Star. He has a .260 career average at Angel Stadium with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 150 at-bats.

Daniels met with Moye last week at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., and had talked about the parameters of a new contract along with numbers. While Daniels wouldn't get into any specifics, he said his understanding is the deal with the Angels "is certainly more guaranteed money."

The move keeps Hamilton in the same division with plenty of opportunities to play against his team — the first one coming fast next season. After the Rangers open with three games at new division foe Houston, they play their first home series April 5-7 against the Angels.

The 31-year-old slugger 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 over the past five seasons.

"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," Daniels said. "I'm a little disappointed how it was handled, but he had a decision to make and he made it."

Hamilton had 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 two days after Hamilton dropped a routine popup in the regular-season finale, 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 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 with a four-homer game as part of a 5-for-5 night that included a double.

"Josh had indicated recently ... told us that he felt it might be time to move on, but that we were still talking," said Daniels, who wouldn't elaborate on the reasons. "We had additional conversations this week that I thought had moved it along in a positive direction, but apparently not."

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AP Sports Writers Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas, and Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.