Josh Hamilton Agrees to Sign with Angels

By Matt Musico

The Josh Hamilton sweepstakes are over, as the Angels come out of nowhere for the second year in a row to sign the most sought after free agent of the winter to a long-term deal. News broke this afternoon the two sides agreeing in principle to a five-year deal, worth $125 million. Although this signing has a significant impact on the landscape of the AL West and the immediate plans for the Texas Rangers, this could also have an affect on what Sandy Alderson does with R.A. Dickey.

It was rumored the Rangers could cave and offer the Mets the prospect load they’re looking for (Mike Olt and company), especially if

Sep 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton (32) watches a replay after striking out during the eighth inning of the ame against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark. The Angels beat the Rangers 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

they were able to re-sign Hamilton. Now that they weren’t able to retain their slugging outfielder, there are two different scenarios that could come to pass. One situation is that Texas could get more desperate for top-of-the-line pitching, or they may prefer to target free agent pitching (such as Kyle Loshe) and hold onto their offensive prospects. If I had to take a guess, I don’t think trade talks between Texas and New York for Dickey will heat up. However, there now could be more of a market for Dickey in Los Angeles.

The Angels have been rumored to be interested in R.A., and have two right-handed hitting outfielders possibly on the trading block (Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos). If these rumors start to gain some steam, I’m sure Sandy Alderson will prefer Trumbo (.268/.317/.491 with 32 HR and 95 RBI) over Bourjos (.220/.290/.315 with 3 HR and 19 RBI).

Alderson said earlier this week he wants to get clarity on the Dickey situation within the next few days, and this will certainly help since the trade market has instantly started to sizzle. If this was a perfect world, the Mets and Angels would start talking and make a deal for Mark Trumbo, who will give the Amazins a short-term and long-term solution for power in a corner outfield position (under team control until 2017), while sending Dickey to the AL West to a team primed to win right now, which is what he deserves. Mike Trout and Hamilton will obviously be manning two of the three outfield spots, leaving one for either Trumbo or Bourjos. With their newest free agent signing, they have flexibility to ship out that kind of power for an elite arm. There are various reports saying the Angels haven’t jumped back in on Dickey and they will be holding onto Trumbo, but as we can see, they can make moves under the radar. I would prefer the power in Trumbo, but Bourjos also could give the Mets a center fielder with speed that can steal bases. Only time will tell if these two can agree on a deal.