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Angels strike again; sign Hamilton to five-year deal

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Last winter the Angels signed Albert Pujols. This time it’s Josh Hamilton.

Once again taking the top offensive free agent off the market, the Angels have agreed to a five-year deal [2]that will keep Hamilton in the American League West but pull him out of Texas. As you might expect, the cost is significant. The Angels will reportedly pay Hamilton $125 million, [3] for an average annual cost of $25 million per season.

The Angels were reportedly chasing Zack Greinke, but when the market’s top pitcher signed with the other L.A. team, the Angels instead built a remarkably potent offense. In the process, they¬†wiped away any long-shot hope of the Yankees making a surprising move for Hamilton.

With Hamilton off the board, former Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher should now be free to pick a team, and I have to think the Rangers could be interested in using Swisher to make up for some of their lost offense. I also can’t help wondering whether this might spur the Rangers to make a stronger push toward trading for Justin Upton.