The Los Angeles Angels might have swung the balance of power in the American League West and added some protection in the lineup for slugger Albert Pujols.
The team and free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton agreed to a five-year deal worth $125 million on Thursday, multiple sources report.
Hamilton, 31, spent the last five seasons with the Texas Rangers, was voted an All-Star each season and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 2010 when he hit a league-leading .359 with 32 homers and 100 RBI.
After that season, he avoided arbitration by signing a two-year deal worth $24 million in February 2011. Hamilton batted .285 with 43 home runs, 128 RBI and scored 103 runs in 148 games last season with the Rangers.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he spoke with Hamilton last week and the team was willing to give Hamilton a four-year contract in the $100 million range. Hamilton wanted $175 million over seven years, but Daniels said that the Angels did not give Texas a chance to match their offer.
“It’s business and everybody has to make their own calls. I get it,” Daniels said. “I’m a little disappointed in how it was handled. He had a decision to make and he made it.”
Hamilton joins a lineup that includes Pujols and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout. The Angels spent $240 million on a contract for Pujols and $77.5 million for pitcher C.J. Wilson last offseason, yet failed to make the playoffs in 2012.