In perhaps the biggest move in free agency this year, the Los Angeles Angels and slugger Josh Hamilton agreed on Thursday to a $125 million, five-year deal.
Hamilton's $25 million average salary matches Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard for the second-highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million yearly average with the Yankees.
The Rangers had hoped to re-sign the 2010 American League MVP, who led Texas to consecutive World Series appearances, in 2010 and 2011.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels said he was disappointed "to some degree" by Hamilton's decision, especially since the Rangers never got a chance to match any offer made to the 31-year-old outfielder.
Hamilton - who some teams considered a risk because of his history of alcohol and substance abuse, which derailed his career before his surge with the Rangers the last five seasons - had a career-high 43 home runs with 128 RBIs in 148 games last season.
He joins a team that spent big last offseason to add first baseman Albert Pujols for $240 million and pitcher C.J. Wilson, Hamilton's Texas teammate, for $77.5 million.
Hamilton's addition to the Angels outfield means Mark Trumbo, an AL all-star, could be moved to third base or traded.
Manager Mike Scioscia will have an interesting decision to make on where in the batting order to slot four excellent hitters; Trumbo, Pujols, AL rookie of the year Mike Trout, and Hamilton, a five-time all-star.
Two people familiar with the negotiations said the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a $26.5 million, two-year contract with 35-year-old righthanded pitcher Ryan Dempster.
Outfielder Andres Torres agreed Thursday to a $2 million, one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.
The Yankees and 10-time all-star Ichiro Suzuki were closing in on a contract that would guarantee the outfielder $12 million to $13 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Thursday. The agreement likely would be for two years.
Bonds' appeal set
An appeals court Thursday agreed to hear Barry Bonds' appeal of his obstruction of justice conviction early next year. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit scheduled oral arguments for Feb. 13 before a three-judge panel in San Francisco.
Bonds was convicted in April 2011 of one felony obstruction count for giving an evasive, rambling reply during a 2003 grand jury appearance when asked whether he received drugs that required a syringe.
Angels land Hamilton. C2.
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