ANAHEIM, Calif. — Feeling “a little upset” that Texas didn’t move quickly enough to re-sign him, free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton donned a Los Angeles Angels jersey on Saturday after finalizing a $125 million, five-year contract that he called a new chapter in his life.
“I started off with the Devil Rays and now I’m an Angel,” said the five-time All-Star who was drafted by Tampa Bay before making his major league debut with Cincinnati in 2007.
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, joins a batting order that already includes Albert Pujols and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout. The 31-year-old Hamilton hit a career-high 43 home runs last season and batted .285 with 128 RBI in 148 games.
“To get a guy like Josh and combine him with Albert is going to give us building blocks for what we hope is years to come,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We can’t wait.”
Hamilton’s $25 million average salary matches Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard for the second-highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez’s $27.5 million average with the New York Yankees.
“It was a great investment,” said Angels owner Arte Moreno, who insisted he wasn’t trying to keep up with the Dodgers, who are on track to surpass the New York Yankees as baseball’s biggest spending team in 2013.
PHILLIES: Added a setup man and starter, agreeing to a $12 million, two-year contract with reliever Mike Adams and a one-year deal with lefty John Lannan.
Adams is expected to fill the eighth-inning role for the Phillies. The 34-year-old right-hander was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers.
Lannan was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in six starts for Washington last season.
COURTS: An attorney for Matt Bush, a former pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, says the baseball player is expected to agree to a plea deal in a DUI crash that injured a motorcyclist.
Bush was being held Saturday in the Charlotte County jail on $440,000 bail. He faces multiple DUI-related charges, along with charges of leaving the scene of the March 22 accident that seriously injured 72-year-old Tony Tufano.