Out of seemingly nowhere yesterday, the Angels swooped in and signed Josh Hamilton for five years an $125 million, robbing one of their principal division rivals in the process. This signing raises all kinds of interesting points from a number of angles, which we will take a look at. There are questions of intrigue, of fit, of how this affects the trade market, and of course, how this signing affects the landscape in a division with three really good teams. There is perhaps no player in baseball as scrutinized as Hamilton (for a variety of reasons), and this is going to be the most talked-about move of the off-season.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Well, the Winter Meetings have come and gone, and although many of the top free agents, in particular Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, and Michael Bourn, are still looking for homes, there have been plenty of significant moves, and there remains potential for more. Rather than try to work out a trade with Tampa Bay for James Shields, the Nationals spent an equivalent amount of money ($13 million for one year) to sign Dan Haren, and didn't have to give up Michael Morse or anyone else to get him. If his 2012 back issues are behind him, Haren should be exactly what the Nationals needed, a strike-throwing workhorse who can miss bats and provide 3-5 wins above replacement pitching in the National League. They did make a cunning move to trade Alex Meyer, their best pitching prospect (albeit one who may wind up in the bullpen) for Minnesota's Denard Span, a strong defensive center fielder who gets on base through a high batting average on balls in play, and who, importantly, doesn't strike out much.