A year after doing it with Albert Pujols, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim come out of nowhere to land the biggest positional chip on the market.
Who needs the Winter Meetings, right? This week has already surpassed last week's activity, and it looks like there's more to come ...
- Obviously the big news yesterday was Josh Hamilton finally re-signing with the Rangers ... er, heading northwest to the Mariners ... er ... the Angels? We shouldn't be too shocked given the surprising Albert Pujols move last year, but the Angels caught a lot of folks off guard yesterday when they landed Hamilton on a huge, five-year, $125 million deal.
- The reactions to the Hamilton signing have been mixed, to say the least, with the Angels being accused by some of "panicking," and swooping in on Hamilton (to whom they were not connected until late last week at the very earliest) in order to reclaim some of the LA spotlight from the Dodgers, even though he may not have been a good fit for their needs. Jonah Keri says the Angels will be great fun to watch, but he wonders how will Hamilton will play in their pitcher-friendly ballpark. Jeff Sullivan points out that Hamilton's contact rate was terrifyingly low last year, which could portend some trouble. Glenn DuPaul says that, even after adding Hamilton, you have to make some assumptions that are seriously in the Angels' favor to say that they project to be better in 2013 than they were in 2012.
- The question now is, what do the Rangers do after missing out on Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton, and probably Justin Upton, too?
- Lost in the Hamilton mania was a lesser signing, but of note around here - Ryan Dempster reportedly inked a two-year, $26.5 million deal with the Boston Red Sox. He'd hoped to stay in the NL with a team who Springed in Arizona, but I guess he wasn't getting as many calls as he would have liked. Good luck to Ryan in Boston.
- The Yankees are reportedly set to re-sign Ichiro for two years and $12 to $14 million, which seems like an awful lot of money for a guy whose career has been trending so solidly downward. He was very good in his time in New York, though, so maybe there's something magical about those Yankee pinstripes.
- Rob Neyer isn't sure the Dodgers are doing anything that teams before them haven't tried to do - i.e., spending a whole lot of money. The real test of their financial resolve will be when their roster starts to age: will they dump those players, eating the salary, AND go out and buy brand new shiny players?
- Remember those anti-Mets comments R.A. Dickey supposedly made at a Christmas party when he was airing his grievances about not getting an extension? Well, here are some of the comments, and they are all kinds of tame, fair, and even-handed. Not a big deal. Makes you wonder if the Mets are just trying to lay the foundation to explain a trade to their fans.