The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lineup just got a lot more powerful.
After endless speculation, we finally know where elite free agent Josh Hamilton will be spending his time next spring.
The news comes from ESPN:
BREAKING: Josh Hamilton has agreed to join the LA Angels. Story to come: es.pn/e3bpkT— ESPNDallas (@ESPNDallas) December 13, 2012
Emily Jones of Fox Sports confirmed the big news:
Jon Daniels confirms Josh Hamilton has agreed to terms with the Angels.— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) December 13, 2012
Sources from ESPN report the deal is for five years, $125 million.
Considering Hamilton's cloudy history and the significant baggage he brings with him, the length and price of this contract will undoubtedly be debated until the All-Star outfielder retires, but there's no question about what exactly he brings to this team:
Power, power and more power.
During his five-season stint with the Texas Rangers, Hamilton hit .305/.363/.549 and averaged 36 homers and 127 RBI per 162 games. He was an All-Star every year.
His propensity to get into fights with the injury bug is a bit of a concern, however. In 2009, Hamilton played in just 89 games, and in 2011 he battled through inconsistency as he missed over 40 more.
But when he's healthy, the numbers he can put up are downright gaudy.
In 2008, Hamilton hit .304 with 32 homers and led the league with 130 RBI.
In 2010, he got silly: .359, 32 homers, 100 RBI (in 133 games), .633 slugging percentage, 1.044 OPS, 170 OPS+. Unsurprisingly, he won the MVP that year.
If advanced stats are more your thing, Hamilton still checks out pretty well. According to Baseball Reference, his WAR during those five years with Texas, despite questionable fielding statistics, was 20.9, or an average of 4.18 per season. If you take out his injury-riddled 2009, that number jumps up to 5.125.
This won't go down as the most popular free-agent signing in the world, but there's no doubt that Josh Hamilton instantly makes lineups more dangerous. The Angels will soon find that out.