Josh Hamilton's Introduction at the Angels' Press Conference on December 15, 2012

Josh Hamilton’s Introduction at the Angels’ Press Conference on December 15, 2012

Josh Hamilton has signed a five-year 125 million dollar contract with the Angels. I haven’t really made up my mind as to how I feel regarding this transaction. As I mentioned in my entry written yesterday, I’m a strong believer that big bats doesn’t do a team any good if they don’t add above average pitching to go with it. I’m not happy with the Angels roster moves thus far, and I can’t say the Hamilton contract changes my mind.

Yes, I acknowledge that at the very least the Angels have dealt a big blow to the Texas Rangers by taking one of their premier players away. I also acknowledge that the addition of Hamilton creates a pretty powerful one-two punch behind Albert Pujols. To me, there are more questions than answers. What does this mean for Mark Trumbo? Does this mean the experiment at third base begins again? Or does Peter Bourjos get traded? Does this move thankfully put Vernon Wells on the bench? Are the Angels really prepared to handle Hamilton’s off field issues should they arise?

I was under the impression that the reason why they let Torii Hunter walk away from the Angels was because they wanted to get younger and resolve the logjam in the outfield. How does the Hamilton singing solve any of the issues the organization cited? Hunter was a cheaper option, yet the Angels decided to opt for the relatively younger and more expensive option. Here again, future financial flexibility concerns me.

If one looks at Hamilton’s numbers; yes, he started off hot winning the American League Player of the Month award two months in a row, but as a baseball season wore on, he was unable to hit the inside fastball; his average dropped and the strikeouts increased.

Could this gamesmanship with the Los Angeles Dodgers? After losing Zack Greinke to the Dodgers, are the Angels trying to keep pace? Was the Hamilton contract done in order to keep the inroads that the Angels have made in the Los Angeles market? There is a battle or Los Angeles indeed.

The funny thing is that Los Angeles and Anaheim are separated by a County line dissected across Interstate 5, the two cities are in close proximity to each other, but they are not exactly cross town rivals. Anaheim and Los Angeles are similar to Oakland and San Francisco in that their close proximity makes them instead natural rivals.

This upcoming season is getting more interesting by the day, not only due to the gamesmanship between the Angels and the Dodgers, but also by both teams proving that they’re in it to win it, they both want to win now. The problem is, I frankly don’t see how the Angels are any better this upcoming year than they were last year. The pieces may have changed, but the problems remain the same.


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11 Comments on “Josh Hamilton Trades in His Cowboy Hat for a Halo

  1. Here is how it works out-
    1) Angels let Hunter/Santana/Haren walk to free up money to keep Grienke. They didn’t expect the Dodgers to throw so much money at him and let him go.

    2)They divvy up the Greinke money on two decent SPs and get two quality arms for the bullpen.

    3) Artie is a marketing guy and realizes he can’t let the Dodgers push him back into the OC base…we can’t go to how it was in 1995 with the Angels as an afterthought in LA….and so getting Hamilton gets us headlines and severely weakens our rival.

  2. My concern is that Hamilton is all hype, he did well the first few months of the season but once pitchers figured out that he couldn’t hit the inside fastball, most teams started pitching to him inside including the Angels. I’m cautious of big contracts, I have a feeling Hamilton is going to be the second coming of Vernon Wells. Hamilton in addition comes with a lot of baggage, I question the Angels ability to deal with him should his off the field issues arise again. It just seems to me that he’s too big a risk given the size of his contract, and how the contract further ties the Angels financially in the future.

  3. This was a solid pick-up by the Angels. Being a Ranger fan, I’ve seen the benefits Josh brings on a day-to-day basis. He’ll give you a guaranteed .280< avg. with at least 30 HR. Not to mention this move was demoralizing for the Rangers. Not only did we lose our best player, but we lost him to our division rivals. I think this deal will work well for Anaheim over the next 2 years, but after that the organization will wish they wouldn't of signed Josh. In my opinion, he doesn't put the Angels over the top, and they won't be able to win a World Series with him. Frankly, the Angels pitching is questionable, as they are very top heavy. It goes Weaver, Wilson and numbers 3-5 drop off significantly. Wilson doesn't even pose much of a threat, as he dropped off at the end of last year and he isn't a clutch player in big games. Plus, high offensive teams like the Rangers knock him around anyways. Good pick up for the Angels, but if they want to win a World Championship, they have to add some depth to their rotation. As a Rangers fan, I've learned something over the past 3 years: Offense does not win championships.

  4. I’m in total agreement with you, and that’s exactly where my concern lies. Hamilton is great in the short term, but in the long-term in handcuffs the Angels’ ability to sign quality pitching, having a great offense is awesome. If the pitching staff cannot hold any leads? This is exactly what worries me.

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