Josh Hamilton Rumors

Reactions To The Josh Hamilton Signing

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


Fallout And Impact Of The Josh Hamilton Signing

Here's the latest on how Josh Hamilton's agreement with the Angels will affect several other players and teams all around the league, including how close some other teams came to signing the free agent slugger themselves…

  • The Rangers have told Geovany Soto he'll be their everyday catcher in 2013, but ESPN's Buster Olney wonders if the Rangers could now pursue free agent backstop A.J. Pierzynski.  Also from Olney, rival evaluators are speculating that the Rangers might now be the best fit for Nick Swisher (both links are to Olney's Twitter account).
  • The Mariners "badly wanted" Hamilton, which means the Angels disappointed two of their AL West rivals today, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).  MLB.com's Greg Johns hears that the M's were heavily courting Hamilton and "had strong hopes" he would sign with them.
  • The Red Sox had interest in Hamilton but weren't willing to offer a contract longer than three years, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
  • The Phillies were similarly not interested in Hamilton at such a high price, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Hamilton's signing could increase interest in other free agent outfielders like Swisher and Cody Ross, thus possibly pricing the Phillies out of the market and forcing them to turn their attention to acquiring pitching instead.
  • The Marlins could reverse their stance on trading Giancarlo Stanton, opines MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, if the Rangers are desperate to add another big bat and were willing to offer Jurickson Profar or Mike Olt in a deal.  Frisaro also thinks Miami could be a trade match with the Angels as Peter Bourjos "has been on the Marlins' radar for a while."
  • Fangraphs' Dave Cameron breaks down the value of Mark Trumbo, Kendrys Morales and Bourjos both to the Angels and on the trade market.
  • Bourjos, for his part, tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he wants to remain in Anaheim and enjoys being an Angel, though he also wants to be an everyday player.
  • ESPN's Keith Law doesn't see Hamilton providing much value in the last two years of his contract, though his signing "makes more sense" if the Angels trade some roster depth to fill the holes in their rotation.  Law also notes that Michael Bourn appears to be running out of suitors, and speculates that Bourn could look for a one-year deal now and then look for a big multiyear contract next winter.
  • Early today, we looked at rumors concerning the possibility of the Angels and Mets working out a trade involving R.A. Dickey.

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post


Josh Hamilton Rumors: Thursday

Yesterday Texas GM Jon Daniels said the Rangers remain interested in Josh Hamilton. "We want Josh back and always have," Daniels said. They're not the only team eyeing the free agent outfielder. Here's the latest, the the most recent items up top…

  • The Mariners are among the other teams showing interest in Hamilton, and they appear to be willing to offer a deal of four years or more, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. However, they’re still viewed as an outsider by rival executives. It’s not clear if the Mariners have made Hamilton an official offer.
  • Rival officials suggest to Heyman that the chances of Hamilton re-signing with the Rangers appear to have increased in recent days. Meanwhile, there’s little evidence that the Brewers and Red Sox have seriously pursued Hamilton recently.


Angels, Josh Hamilton Nearing Deal

1:21pm: The sides are nearing a five-year deal, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). People connected to the team seem confident a deal will get done, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).

12:59pm: The Angels are getting close to a deal with Josh Hamilton, Yahoo's Tim Brown reports (on Twitter). The deal with the Moye Sports Associates client is not quite done, Brown adds. Joe McDonnell of FoxSportsWest.com first reported that the Angels were involved in serious talks with Hamilton (Twitter link).

This would mark the second time in as many winters that Angels owner Arte Moreno and general manager Jerry Dipoto have signed an elite free agent unexpectedly. The Angels signed Albert Pujols to a ten-year deal at last year's Winter Meetings to the surprise of many.

If the Angels complete a deal with Hamilton, he'd join a lineup that already includes Pujols and Mike Trout. An agreement could put Peter Bourjos and/or Mark Trumbo on the trade block, however.

Hamilton received and turned down a qualifying offer from the Rangers, which means he'll be linked to draft pick compensation. The Rangers would obtain a compensatory selection for losing Hamilton, and the Angels would have to surrender their top 2013 pick (#22 overall) to complete a deal.

This post was first published on December 13th, 2012.


Josh Hamilton Rumors: Wednesday

Josh Hamilton, the top free agent position player of the offseason, remains unsigned. The Rangers and Phillies seem like logical fits for Hamilton, who has also drawn significant interest from the Mariners. Here’s the latest, with the most recent rumors up top…

  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels said today that his feelings regarding Hamilton haven't changed since day one, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports. "We want Josh back and always have," Daniels said. "It has nothing to do with who is still on the market and who is off the market. We've maintained communication and the relationship is good. We'd still like to work something out but I can't handicap it."
  • Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears from a Phillies source who would be "shocked" if Hamilton signs in Philadelphia (Twitter link).
  • However, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported this morning that Phillies officials have privately maintained that they’d be prepared to offer Hamilton a three-year deal.

Free Agent Rumors: Hamilton, LaRoche, Rolen

MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker allows you to review the offseason's new contracts and navigate all remaining free agents. Here are the latest rumors on a handful of free agent position players…


Olney On Wilson, Bourn, Indians, Red Sox

One AL GM said the Indians got “incredible value” for Shin-Soo Choo by obtaining Trevor Bauer in last night’s three-team trade, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. While evaluators love Didi Gregorius’ glove, they wonder if the Diamondbacks’ new infielder will hit enough to merit an everyday job. Here's the latest from Olney (some Twitter links)…

  • Free agent right-hander Brian Wilson is expected to have opportunities to close, Olney writes. The Giants non-tendered their longtime closer last month, making him a free agent.
  • Agents and executives wonder what will happen with free agent center fielder Michael Bourn, Olney reports(on Twitter). In my view the Rangers and Mariners appear to be two possible destinations for the Scott Boras client.
  • The Indians could still trade Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Masterson and Vinnie Pestano, as Olney points out (on Twitter). There’s “not much action” on Chris Perez, however.
  • Some evaluators say the Red Sox are poised to move on the pitching market as prices drop, according to Olney(on Twitter). GM Ben Cherington figures to add starting pitching depth at some point, as his projected rotation consists of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, John Lackey and Franklin Morales.
  • It’s apparent that the Mariners aren’t the top choice of the best free agent hitters. Olney suggests Seattle will end up signing a leftover player, though they’re pressing to land someone of note.
  • Phillies officials have privately maintained that they’d be prepared to offer Josh Hamilton a three-year deal.

Latest On The Rangers: Upton, Pierzynski, Dickey

The Rangers lost out on a trade target when the Royals acquired James Shields last night, just days after losing out on free agent target Zack Greinke. Things aren't going exactly as they've planned this offseason, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a host of Rangers updates in his latest column…

  • A rival executive told Rosenthal that the Rangers are either going to overpay Josh Hamilton or overpay Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers for Justin Upton. Rangers GM Jon Daniels is so focused on Upton that he figures to eventually land him, writes Rosenthal.
  • It's not completely out of the question that the Rangers could acquire Upton and still sign Hamilton now that Greinke is off the table.
  • Anibal Sanchez is a long shot for the Rangers, but he's on their radar. A trade for R.A. Dickey is also unlikely at this point.
  • The team is said to prefer lower-cost starters and could pursue someone like Chris Capuano in a trade to provide an upgrade over Martin Perez.
  • The Rangers are interested in A.J. Pierzynski, who would obviously push Geovany Soto into a backup role. Pierzynski's left-handed bat would help to balance a heavily right-handed lineup.
  • Ian Kinsler isn't big on the idea of shifting to first base one year into his five-year extension in order to allow Jurickson Profar to play second base, but he will play wherever he's asked.
  • Daniels tells Rosenthal he's not planning on Kinsler switching positions yet and is considering all possible scenarios for the 2013 roster.
  • A three-team deal with the Rangers, Diamondbacks and Indians was "very close" to happening at the Winter Meetings. The foundation of the deal was Upton to Texas, Cabrera to Arizona, and Mike Olt and one of Trevor Bauer or Patrick Corbin to Cleveland. Presumably, other names were involved.

Phillies Notes: Young, Additional Moves

The Phillies have made a couple of significant trades in the past week, acquiring Ben Revere from the Twins in exchange for Vance Worley and Trevor May, and also landing Michael Young and cash from the Rangers for Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla. Here's the latest on the Phils…

  • During a press conference today, Young told the media that the Rangers were only going to give him 300 at-bats this season (Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on Twitter).
  • Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is happy with the additions of Young and Revere but would like general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to make one more big splash, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • In a separate piece, Gelb writes that the Phillies figure to sign one of Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton to fill a corner vacancy. They've long coveted Ross, but aren't as big on Swisher, perhaps due to his price tag. Gelb notes that the Phillies could offer Hamilton a shorter-term deal with a high annual value if his demands decrease.

Heyman On Hamilton, Yankees, Youkilis, Dodgers

Here's a look at the latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..

  • The Yankees aren't involved with Josh Hamilton at this stage and would only consider it if he fell into their laps at a low number, Heyman tweets.  In short, Heyman says it's not happening.  The Yankees reportedly had people other than GM Brian Cashman running background checks on Hamilton.
  • The Dodgers will consider a shortstop or third baseman but don't appear to be in on Kevin Youkilis at the moment, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Heyman (via Twitter) also says not to be surprised if the Dodgers go after Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse regardless of what happens with Hyun-Jin Ryu.
  • In today's conference call, Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said (via Twitter) that he hasn't had a "final conversation" with the free agent slugger.  Last week, manager Ron Washington revealed that Hamilton told the club that he will give them a chance to make a final offer before signing with another team.