Feeling “a little upset” that Texas didn’t move quickly enough to re-sign him, free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton donned a Los Angeles Angels jersey on Saturday in Anaheim after finalizing a $125 million, five-year contract that he called a new chapter in his life.
“I started off with the Devil Rays and now I’m an Angel,” said the five-time All-Star, who was drafted by Tampa Bay before making his major league debut with Cincinnati in 2007.
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, joins a batting order that already includes Albert Pujols and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout. The 31-year-old Hamilton hit a career-high 43 home runs last season and batted .285 with 128 RBI in 148 games.
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.
“It was a great investment,” said Angels owner Arte Moreno, who insisted he wasn’t trying to keep up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are on track to surpass the New York Yankees as baseball’s biggest spending team in 2013.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels had hoped to re-sign Hamilton, who led Texas to consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. He said he was disappointed the Rangers never got a chance to match any offer during the process, as they had expected, or be contacted before Hamilton agreed with another team.
“I gave them everything I had for five years,” Hamilton said. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little upset they didn’t put the press on.”
Hamilton’s wife, Katie, spoke up and compared the situation to dating.
“We were with them for five years. If you’re going to date someone, you make it known and official pretty quick,” she said.
Hamilton interjected, saying, “She said, ‘You should have put a ring on it.’”
DICKEY TRADE IN WORKS
R.A. Dickey, who rose from the first cut in New York Mets spring training camp in 2010 to NL Cy Young winner two years later, will by all indications continue his epic tale in Canada.
The Mets were working Saturday morning toward completing a trade that would send the 38-year-old knuckleballer to the Toronto Blue Jays, a major league executive aware of the talks told ESPN.com.
A major league source said 23-year-old catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud must be part of the deal for it to be finalized.
Upon completion of the trade, the former Seattle Mariner would become only the fourth reigning Cy Young Award winner in major league history to start the following season with a new team via trade, joining David Cone (1995), Pedro Martinez (1998) and Roger Clemens (1999).
Dickey is due $5 million from the Mets in 2013 and is seeking a two-year, $26-million extension.
The Phillies added a pair of pitchers, agreeing to a $12 million, two-year contract with reliever Mike Adams and a one-year deal with starter John Lannan… An attorney for Matt Bush, a former pitcher in the Rays organization, says the baseball player is expected to agree to a plea deal in a DUI crash that injured a motorcyclist in March.