It seemed to happen in a heartbeat, when ESPNs Buster Olney conjectured that the Angels were moving on Hamilton.
Source: Angels positioning themselves for a big strike in the market. Hamilton? We’ll see.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 13, 2012
The instant chatter on Twitter likened the deal to fairies ending Israeli and Palestinian conflict, flying cars, Dwight Howard making a free throw–things that may never happen. But within the matter of an hour, Arte Moreno and the Angels have reportedly signed Josh Hamilton to a 5-year deal. According to ESPN Dallas
BREAKING: Josh Hamilton has agreed to join the LA Angels. Story to come: es.pn/e3bpkT
— ESPNDallas (@ESPNDallas) December 13, 2012
After Torii Hunter signed with the Tigers, the Angels looked to include a quality 4th outfielder, in the event Vernon Wells played like, well, Vernon Wells. But Hamilton is absolutely the biggest fish on the market. And once this fish is officially reeled on board, every other offseason signing is back page news. As they did last year at this time, and when they traded for Zach Greinke mid-season, and when Mike Trout was an MVP (candidate), welcome to the front page Angels.
But if the PR and $125 million signing will turn into wins, playoff appearances, and World Series titles is very much undetermined. Adding the bat and defense of the 2010 AL MVP is huge, but teams and pitching win World Series, not a single bat. Look at the success of Oakland, Baltimore, and San Fran in 2012, and it’s clear that the American League is all but settled. The AL West has become deeper and more competitive every day of this offseason. And vying with the AL East for the 2 Wild Card Spots will be the deepest race in history.
If the Angels with Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, and Mike Trout find themselves on the outside looking in, even early in the season, Mike Scioscia will be taking manager interviews elsewhere in the majors.