The Los Angeles Angels have wrested slugger Josh Hamilton away from the Texas Rangers, signing him to a five-year, $125 million deal and showing they are not the only L.A. team with deep pockets.
While the crosstown-rival Los Angeles Dodgers secured this off season's top free-agent pitcher, Zack Greinke, earlier this month and will shell out more than $225 million on player salaries next season, tops in the big leagues, the Angels have now snagged the other impact player on the market.
Hamilton, the American League's MVP in 2010, was a key part of the Rangers teams that reached the World Series in both 2010 and 2011.
The 31-year-old has been one of the most dangerous and consistent hitters in recent years, but his signing is considered risky because of his past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction that delayed his rise to stardom.
Hamilton has a career batting average of .304 and last season hit .285 and notched a career-best mark of 43 home runs for the Rangers, the Angels' main divisional rival in recent years.
He joins an already potent Angels line-up that features three-time National League MVP and sure-fire future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols and dynamic AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout.
Hamilton's former teammate with the Rangers, C.J. Wilson, made the move to the Angels last offseason when he signed a five-year, $75 million deal.
Despite all that spending, the Dodgers are the biggest economic powerhouse in Los Angeles and recently added to their talent-laden roster this month by signing Greinke to a six-year, $147 million contract and another starting pitcher, South Korea's Ryu Hyun-jin, to a six-year, $36 million deal. EFE