Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Multiple sources report slugging outfielder Josh Hamilton is signing on with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for $125 million over five years. Hamilton was a five-time All-Star with the Texas Rangers.(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
One year after signing former St. Louis Cardinal first baseman Albert Pujols to a monster $240 million dollar deal, Angels owner Arte Moreno is opening his wallet up again.
Multiple outlets are reporting the Angels have landed the biggest prize of the offseason, signing slugger Josh Hamilton to a 5-year contract worth $25 million a year.
That’s only slightly less than the pay for baseball’s highest paid player, New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez. But Moreno is probably hoping his money will buy the Angels more than the one lone championship that A-Rod has brought to the Yankees.
The 31-year-old Hamilton won the American League MVP in 2010 and led the Texas Rangers to the World Series that year and the next. The Raleigh, North Carolina native has been an All-Star five years running. Hamilton was the first pick in Major League Baseball's 1999 amateur draft, signing on with Tampa Bay.
Last year, the talented outfielder hit 43 home runs – including four in a single game last May.
But despite his batting prowess, Hamilton comes to Anaheim with risks. Early in his career, he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. He once said that his entire signing bonus of nearly $4 million went to drug dealers and rehab clinics.
Hamilton is now sober and deeply religious. Two years ago, he came out with a bestselling autobiography titled “Beyond Belief: Finding The Strength to Come Back.”
Hamilton figures to play right field for the Angels, with 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout in center and Mark Trumbo in left. That would leave swift and slick-fielding Peter Bourjos on the bench or a likely candidate for a trade.