I'm sure you know by now that the Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a huge contract on Thursday; five years at an estimated $125 million. The deal makes Joshy the third highest paid player in baseball based on average salary per year, only trailing Ryan Howard and Alex Rodriguez.
The Angels have become the Yankees of the West, shelling out cash like it grows on the palm trees surrounding Angel Stadium. This signing comes after the Angels spent $77.5 million for C.J. Wilson and over $240 million for Albert Pujols last winter.
Are the Angels insane?
Just like the rest of you, I'm a big Hamilton fan. He's a terrific icon of triumph over hardship. He was at the lowest point a man can get, only to persevere into stardom, earning an AL MVP award. The guy literally went from drug-addict who sleeps at his grandmother's house to super star signing autographs en route to breaking Home Run Derby records.
But now he's 31 years old. He's still going to to need accountability partners -- as he did in Texas -- so that he doesn't relapse with his alcohol and drug abuse. He's still going to face the same challenges he faced in Arlington, only now he's in LA, so magnify those trials times 100.
We still don't know how the prolonged drug abuse will affect his body; many believe it could wear down his body exponentially while he's still in his early 30s. We do know that he's a always guaranteed a DL stint during the season.
Here are Hamilton's games played the last four seasons:
Sure, the guy has crazy good numbers considering how often he plays. But it's obvious there is substantial risk here; even with his motivation.
Rumors floated around last season that the Rangers literally had to force him out onto the field to play last year, even when he was perfectly healthy doing so. And maybe it's possible that he just needs a change of scenery. After all, from reports, it sounds like there's been some bad blood brewing with Hamilton and the Rangers for quite awhile.
Hopefully the switch to LA helps Hamilton. It might not help his numbers though. There's no question that players thrive in hitter-friendly Arlington; and Josh was so exception.
Here are some career numbers.
- Hamilton in Arlington: .315 AVG /.592 Slugging.
- In Anaheim: .260 AVG /.440 Slugging.
There is no doubt I'm rooting for you, Josh. But Anaheim is taking a huge long-term risk by signing you for five years.
And just think; they still have to pay Mike Trout.