AirTalk for December 13, 2012

Angels reportedly make blockbuster deal for Josh Hamilton

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers hits a double that scored Ian Kinsler #5 in the third inning of their game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2012 in Oakland, California.

Baseball star Josh Hamilton has reportedly reached a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to become their new outfielder.

The deal, reported at 5 years, $125 million, comes one day after Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto’s claims of no serious personnel moves were to be made. 

"The Angels had been preaching all winter about pitching even as late as the winter meetings last week, the General manager Jerry Dipoto said his focus was 100% on pitching," said L.A. Times sports writer Mike DiGiovanna. "They were trying to re-sign Zack Greinke, who as you probably know just singed with the Dodgers the other day…sometimes this happens in the game, the owners allocated a certain amount of money toward a guy and all of a sudden mentally they feel like they've freed up money to go to somebody else."

Yahoo Sports writer Jeff Passan puts it in a slightly different way:

"[Arte] Moreno, the Angels' owner, is fiercely protective of his place in the Southern California market. To see the Los Angeles Dodgers dropping $147 million on Zack Greinke like it's nothing and following the next day with a $61 million investment in Ryu Hyun-jin as if it's but a sawbuck to their bottom line not only changed the landscape of the sport, it transformed Moreno"

Hamilton does not come without his liabilities, however. The star left-hander has been open about his drug and alcohol addiction from earlier in his career. Still, he has remained a perpetual all-star since 2008.

"Surely the Angels are fully aware of his background," said DiGiovanna. "There are standard clauses in the major league contract where if he does have some kind of problem with drugs or alcohol that that contract can be voided."

Hamilton was also named the AL MVP in 2010 and one of only 16 players in Major League Baseball history to record four home runs in a single game. Last year, the outfielder recorded 43 home runs and 128 runs batted in for the Texas Rangers. 

Guest:

Mike DiGiovanna, Baseball Writer, Los Angeles Times


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