We've already looked at how the Angels' five-year, $125MM agreement with Josh Hamilton has impacted players and teams around baseball, but now let's look at some analysis of the signing itself, including items about how the deal came together for the Angels and how the Rangers missed out on re-signing their slugger...
- An American League executive called the move "last-second knee-jerk stupidity" on the part of the Angels, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (Twitter links). However, an NL executive called it a "brilliant move" since the Angels obtained the best player available and added balance to a largely right-handed lineup.
- Former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter had some sharp words regarding his free agent talks with the Angels and owner Arte Moreno (Twitter links). “I was told money was tight but I guess the Arte had money hidden under a Mattress,” Hunter wrote. “Business is business but don't lie.” Hunter clarified in a follow-up tweet that he’s “not upset.”
- One American League executive told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that the Rangers made the "fatal mistake" of believing no team would go beyond four years for Hamilton. Also from Stark, Moreno's tactic of making take it-or-leave it offers prevented Hamilton from going back to the Rangers to give them a chance to top Anaheim's offer (Twitter links)
- Though Rangers GM Jon Daniels will face public criticism for letting Hamilton get away to a division rival, Daniels is being "privately lauded" by other general managers for parting ways with Hamilton, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Also from Olney (Twitter link), "Hamilton's medical records have been a concern for other teams."
- Yahoo Sports' Kevin Kaduk runs down the winners and losers of the Hamilton signing.
- The signing looks like "an impulse buy" for Moreno and the Halos, as the team reportedly didn't even discuss signing Hamilton during the Winter Meetings, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal's colleague Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Angels did meet with Hamilton during the Winter Meetings, though it was kept quiet enough that some within the organization didn't even know the meeting took place (Twitter links).
- The Angels know they'll have to trade from their position player depth, but aren't close to any deals yet, Yahoo's Tim Brown reports (on Twitter).
- The Rangers are "really shaken" by losing Hamilton, especially after being unable to sign Zack Greinke or work out trades for Justin Upton or James Shields, writes CBS Sports' Danny Knobler (via Twitter). "Fair to say they don't love any [other] options out there," Knobler adds.
- The Hamilton signing elevates the Angels/Rangers rivalry to an even higher level, writes Yahoo's Jeff Passan.
- My take: I'm not crazy about the signing since the Angels' lineup (and particularly their outfield) wasn't an area of concern, and $125MM is a lot of money to commit to a player with as many red flags as Hamilton. That said, I can understand why they made the move. Money seems to be no object to the Angels, so if they can win a World Series over the next few seasons, the team won't care if Hamilton (or Albert Pujols, for that matter) is a payroll albatross by 2016-17. It also doesn't hurt that the Angels dealt a serious blow to a division rival by keeping Hamilton away from the Rangers. I'd suggest that the Angels hang onto their outfield depth until at least the trade deadline -- given Hamilton and Kendrys Morales' injury histories, it makes sense to have a capable outfielder like Peter Bourjos, who brings much more off the bench than Vernon Wells.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post