What an oddly worded headline.

Anywho, as you’ve probably heard by now, Josh Hamilton has signed a five-year contract to play for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Getting Blanked has all the details you’ll need on the surprising deal– which, according to a tweet from Danny Knobler, the Rangers didn’t even get a chance to match, which it was widely reported that they would be given.

It’s yet another rather hilarious spurning of the Texas Rangers, who were reportedly very interested in both Zack Grienke (now a Dodger) and Justin Upton (seemingly staying in Phoenix), among others they’ve failed so far to land. The off-season is far from over, of course, and surely the Rangers will strengthen their team before spring, but for the moment there certainly seems to be a recalibration of the American League West that just might help a plucky all-in upstart looking to compete with such clubs for one of the two Wild Card berths– you know, the Kansas City Royals.

And the Toronto Blue Jays.

I don’t want to go too terribly nuts here, especially since we’re far from the off-season’s end, but as a legitimate competitor with these clubs for a playoff spot, you’ve got to like that the Rangers are now down Hamilton, Mike Napoli, and still in need of at least one, maybe two more starters. And the Angels? Hamilton is a fantastic get– their lineup looks ridiculous, plus they could spin off Peter Bourjos or Kendrys Morales to help them in other areas– and they’ve strengthened their bullpen, but I don’t think they’ve done too much more than tread water, given that their rotation has seen Zack Greinke and Dan Haren (albeit the one who struggled mightily in 2012) be replaced by a pitcher as middling as his name, Joe Blanton, and the guy they used to call Tommy Hanson.

The Rangers have some work to do to replace the talent they’ve lost– though their system, with guys like Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar ready to either step in or be traded for a huge bounty, will help. And the question for the Angels is, do they have the money to still go out and add a big piece to their rotation?

Maybe Anaheim can add through trade– though it’s probably not via the path a lot of people are first going to think:

If they can pull of something even close to that, it’s a whole different story. But if they’re only going to add someone to squeeze between Blanton and Hanson, you’d have to think the Blue Jays must feel pretty OK about matching a rotation like theirs– at least on paper, and with everybody healthy.

Of course, as anyone who has paid attention to this club has been constantly reminded lately, you don’t play the games on paper, but right now, with New York’s quiet-ish winter, and Boston’s underwhelming additions of Napoli, Shane Victorino and Ryan Dempster, my sense is that the Jays moves from the early going are still holding up as potentially decisive. At the very least, they’re easily in the conversation– and even that is a welcome change.

Maybe I’m being a little too naive here– the Angels and Rangers are still both ridiculously tough teams, and so are the Sox, Yankees, Rays, Royals, Tigers, White Sox and A’s. Ahhh… maybe even the Orioles, too.

Point is, in my view, there doesn’t appear to be anything on the level of an unstoppable force. It’s going to be a fantastic year for baseball– and finally this city is invited to the party.

Oh yeah, also this:

Ha! Um… this too:

Comments (158)

  1. First

  2. Jays play 7 games against Texas in June, play 4 in August and 3 in September against LAA. I prefer that then the other way around given the potential for a trade deadline pickup.

  3. The beauty is that this doesn’t really change a thing for the Jays, they don’t need to react to this move. It still appears the Jays are good enough to be a wild card contender but at the same time their division doesn’t seem as daunting, so they could also win the division. If Jays don’t make playoffs at all, no matter, they are still improved, still have a strong core and won’t have the same financial burdens or aging players that some of these other teams will have

  4. i made fun of an angels fan last night. It involved vernon wells. This ones on me. Shit!

  5. I hope the angels wrote in a clause in that albatros of contract that hamilton has to take up chewing tobacco again

  6. I see Kendrys Morales as a good fit to be traded to Houston — youngish DH, not too expensive, would instantly become the best hitter in the Astros lineup. Not sure who Anaheim would get back in return, maybe Bud Norris or someone?

    • Nah, Houston’s not giving up anything for a guy so close to free agency.

    • Not making Lance Berkman their DH in a ground breaking season for the franchise would be pretty odd. Sure he’s past prime but he is their perfect DH.

  7. Hoping some of these mega signings and trades also push out some fringe talented guys. Someone like Morales would be a nice pick up for the Jays in a similar mould to Mike Morse. Not necessary pickup, but they would be probably given more at bats with the Jays and could benefit the team far greater. Not to say LAA is in a rush to push out their talented pool of depth, but guys like Morse and Morales are way more available than they were before and that’s a nice thought

  8. Interested to watch Morales. I wonder what he would bring back to Anaheim.

  9. Can Vernon toss a couple of innings like Mathis and McCoy? Might as well let him try, Anaheim.

  10. SO.. the angels lose HUnter and get Hamilton = upgrade but not by as much as some might think. Angels lose Santana, Haren, and Greinke and get Hanson, Blanton and some back end stiffs = downgrade. So, at this point, pending them adding more pieces, they are roughly even with last year when they finished third, and they still have Wells plugging e’thing up.
    Texas has lost Napoli, Hamilton, Adams, Uehara, and Michael Young. At this point BIG downgrade depending , now, on how well Profar can play as he essentially cannot be traded as they are running out of players. I’m sure they would like a do over on the trade of Young as they figured they would either get Upton from AZ or resign Josh H.
    Jon Daniels better hussy up the Texas Two Step if he doesn’t want to end up looking like a Horse’s Ass in all ofthis

  11. Seriously somebody get Vernon Wells a fuckin sudoku book or some shit so he has something to do besides riding pine and counting Benjamins all year

  12. 20 bucks says this forces the rangers hand in the Upton deal. That Andrus will now be on the move to Arizona for Upton.

    And Olt on the move to the mets for Dickey.

    texas has too good of a team to sit back.

    • Arizona just traded for a shortstop who played in MLB last year, and a month ago traded for Cliff Pennington, too.

    • I don’t see them moving prospects, I see them going out to sign Swisher/Bourn.

      Swisher can play LF/1B and is an instant upgrade over Moreland/Murphy who will be playing there in the mean time.

      Bourn will replace Gentry in CF, and is a huge upgrade as well.

      Lineup of:
      Bourn CF
      Andrus SS
      Beltre 3B
      Cruz RF
      Kinsler LF
      Swisher 1B
      Profar 2B
      Olt/Moreland DH

      Still looks pretty darn good.

      • But what would the cost be for Bourn and Swisher?

        • I would guess Bourn 7 year 105M, Swisher 5 year 65M

          That would add about 28M in salary. Considering they were in the 25M a year range for Hamilton I would consider that reasonable. Not to mention they were willing to pay Napoli 10M (on a one year deal). Plus they saved 6M by moving Young, and every team got the extra 25M in TV revenues they may even have room for Sanchez or Edwin too.

      • Not as good as the Jays and, more importantly for Texas, not nearly as good as the Angels now.

        • I think that lineup compared to the Jays is a lot closer then you are giving them credit for..

          After the top 4 the Jays fall off a cliff (Lind), and Lawrie/Rasmus/JP have huge upside but a ton of risk too after watching them last season. Even then I would way rather have Kinsler-Swisher-Profar-Olt than Lind-Lawrie-Rasmus-JPA. And it isn’t even close.

          (Mind you this is a moot point if Texas doesn’t add Swish+Bourn…)

      • What makes you think that Kinsler and his injury proneness are a good idea in left?

        • Trading away Elvis would still be a questionable move. A healthy Cruz and another MVP like campaign from Beltre means they still have plenty of power. Texas could lean on those guys and try to go with a more speed/on base approach by signing Bourn, while not diminishing there defense by dealing Andrus

        • 1) he has played at least 155 games each of the last 2 years
          2) LF is a less demanding position to play thus it could keep him healthier. (Ask Adam Lind lol)

          Plus he is athletic enough and his bat plays there. If Alfonso can make the transition so can Kinsler.

  13. He’s not a Yankee/RedSox/Ray/Oriole. This is enough. Short of Hamilton going to the NL, Jays should rejoice. Momentum in the west shifts to LAA but I still think that pitching is mighty bit thin for the Angels. With Pujols and now Hamilton, VW’s contract is starting to look a lot more reasonable for them. Vernon who?

  14. How much does this offseason rule? I am yet to see a team in the AL make a move that I wish the Jays had made and we still have options to make more moves. Loving AA right now.

  15. I want a nerd to run the numbers to show WAR or projected WAR added or lost by each AL team this year.

  16. I still think the Jays are the best team in the AL at the moment. Anyone want to refute this?

    • I’d say most balanced, on paper. Best is tough – the Yankees still have a lot of power both in the lineup and on the mound. And the Angels’ lineup now….wow.

    • I think it’s arguable either way. They Jays will probably make some pundits picks for AL champions. The odds makers will likely have them near the top to win.

    • I think there are 5 elite teams
      1) Detroit (Add Hunter and V-Mart take out Young…) The D is still crap but a 1-2-3 of Verlander, Fister, Scherzer… Yes please.
      2) Anaheim- Probably have 3 of the top 10 players in baseball on there team (Trout, Pujols, Hamilton) Rotation worries me CJ had surgery and falls apart in the second half, and always walked to many guys… and that is there #2….
      3) Rays- That rotation… 1-5 by far the best. Expect Moore to be in the Cy Young race this season. Hellickson/Archer/Cobb 3-5 with Odorozzi as insurance
      4) Jays
      5) Yanks- Jeter, CC, A Rod, Mariano all injured/injury prone now. Average age of that rotation (Pettitte, CC, Kuroda) is getting pretty high.

      That is my top 5 right now.

  17. yesterday I said that the met’s weren’t being cheap fucks about not having signed dickey already. I thought they were just waiting out the market to see if any teams would lose out on some free agents, maybe something would happen to make a team willing to part with more now. I think it’s safe to say Texas is feeling a little more pressure to aquire an impact player than they were feeling yesterday.

  18. If i’m the Jays, i’m doing everything I can to keep Dickey out of Arlington. Seriously. It might be worth D’Arnaud now. There is NO way Texas doesn’t try something huge after this.

  19. LOL I heard the Red Sox signed Dempster for a bunch of money.

  20. IMO angels and rangers were both, and still are playoff teams. So this signing doesn’t change too much. Jays need to beat out 3 of Red Sox, yanks, rays, A’s. (assuming the o’s don’t repeat.)

  21. how good would Mike Trumbo look in Jays lineup at first base…. one can dream

  22. The fact the Jays supposedly offered a bunch of dough to Grilli suggests the Mike Adams rumour is pretty legit. He’d be a stud pickup and then some.

    Career 2.30 ERA and 1.05 ERA. That’s damn sexy.

    AA’s ragtag bullpen I think is the make it or break it factor for Jays this year. Took him 2 years of disasters, but third time’s the charm right? It worked for Baltimore on a considerably shittier team, so I say ride that ‘pen to a playoff spot

    • oop should read 1.05 WHIP

    • Baltimore was an anomaly.

      • yea, i agree, but they still would have won extra games because of their bullpen – put that bullpen with the jays roster and that’s a recipe of success

        st louis last year had a mish mash bullpen that dominated and was a big reason they won the WS

  23. This IS going to be a good summer for baseball.

  24. Honestly, who is going to pitch for LAA? Are they not forced to get Sanchez or EJax now? They aren’t going to spend this much on payroll by having Joe Blanton as their #2 behind a decling MPH Jared Weaver?

    LAA was smart to make the move shortly after TEX lost out on Greinke and when the DBacks made their move for a shortstop in the 3 team trade. Will Texas be forced to return the favor and take a top pitcher off the market (or two!?!?) before LAA can bolster its rotation?

    LAA is going all out. There is no way they are comfortable competing for a penant and world series with that rotation

    • You must have forgotten CJ Wilson. He’s still Angels’ #2. Even so, you’re right that a Joe Blanton / troubled Tommy Hanson as your #3 is pretty bad. I do expect them to go after another SP either through trade or FA signing… but if they don’t end up with one, that starting rotation is definitely unworthy of a playoff spot.

    • Jered Weaver’s MPH readings have never really seemed to play into his effectiveness. Jered Weaver is really good. After that, they certainly don’t have a TON going for them, but we’ll see what Tommy Hanson can do, who knows what will come out of Blanton.

      With a lineup like they’ve got, there is no way they should waste these years with a shit rotation. I certainly wouldn’t want to be giving them any pitchers if I was a GM in the AL though.

  25. You’re citing a guy who lists himself as a “fan” of Brad Fullmer?! For shame!

  26. Mike Adams in the Jays pen would make me happy. The guy gets ground balls and misses bats. Perfect.

  27. Trumbo would be wonderful to have at 1B for the Jays but right now LAA are looking to deal for pitching and the Jays arent looking to deal their pitchers so I dont see a fit here at all for a Jays/LAA trade unless … the Jays were to take Trumbo and take back the Wells contract and give the Angels Rajai Davis and a couple decent prospects, thus freeing up Wells’ money for the Angels to make a move for a free agent pitcher because lets be honest, funds are going to run out over there.

    Yes yes,,, I know, taking Wells back would be pretty shitty but let’s be honest, there are much worse guys to have as the back up outfielder and having Trumbo playing 1B signed cheap would be pretty damn awesome.

    Otherwise, as of now, Dickey might as well be as good as traded to the Rangers and the price for him just went up a bit if I am the Mets and its the Rangers or the Angels on the phone. The Angels dont have the prospects that the mets want for Dickey, but the Rangers do. The Angels are more than likely going to go after Jackson.

  28. I just fell like this deal has bad news written all over it. Maybe he’s still pretty good the next 2 years, but I’m thinking years 3-5 could be pretty rough.

  29. Lind/Drabek/Lesser Prospect for Trumbo.

    Please. How off am I there. Would LAA even consider something like this?

    • click after are you fucking serious

    • Probably not.

      If Deabek had an OK year and wasn’t injured it probably plays, but the Angels need pitching now that’s a clear upgrade over Hanson… Which Drabek is not.

      I really don’t see a fit unless it’s an always popular three way.

      JPA and Rasmus to the Mets. Dickey and Dan Murphy to the Angels. Trumbo, Garrett Richards and B prospect from LAA to the Jays.

      Or something like that.

    • Never.

  30. I love watching the pieces fall into place, so many more to come yet.

    Whats everyone think about the Jays maybe looking into Swisher to play 1B?

  31. Bring it on Mother Fuckers

  32. Now steps in AA: so you want dickey? mets you want d’arnaud hmmm lets expand this…in wet dream we get profar… Needless to say there would be more involved but at this point not unimaginable?

  33. The Rangers will throw everything at Bourn and for good reason!! But the Phillies are going to be doing the same and Possibly the Mariners!! I think Bourne is going to Philly with the Rangers and Mariners overpaying for Swish!!

  34. Hahaha u guys are seriously upset over that? Fucking nerds! It’s also funny how u guys go on about the business aspect of the game but have no fucking clue lol…. I mean I doubt some of you even have jobs, fucking nerds!

  35. Hey Andrew!! Think Bourn is going to Texas or Philly?? Or a team yet to emerge?? And who is the better prospect Olt or D’arnauld?

    • I have no better idea on Bourn than anybody else does, to be honest. Couldn’t hazard a guess.

      I think more people would answer that d’Arnaud is the better prospect, largely because of the position that he plays and the scarcity of bats like his that will actually stay behind the plate, long-term. But on any list I can recall, it’s very close between the two.

  36. People should stop suggesting the Blue Jays get Mark Fucking Trumbo.

  37. What;s great now is that there’s a little more balance across the AL divisions. The AL East is still the toughest division, but the AL West (Texas, LAA, and Oakland, plus Seattle shouldn’t be that bad) and the AL Central (Detroit is a cut above, but both the Royals and Chisox should be competitive) are going to be less of a cakewalk than usual. That should even out the wildcard situation a little compared to previous years.

  38. I just want to point out that Aaron Hill’s WAR last year was 6.2

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