Javascript is disabled. For full functionality of this site, it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

MLB: How the Josh Hamilton Signing Impacts the AL West

MLB: How the Josh Hamilton Signing Impacts the AL West
By Nick Slegel on December 14, 2012

Yesterday free agent center fielder Josh Hamilton agreed to terms on a five year, $125 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  This marks the second time in as many years the Angels have come out of nowhere and signed the biggest free agent position player available (Albert Pujols last year).  After signing free agent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson last year, Hamilton is the second player in as many seasons the Angels have signed away from their divisional rival Texas Rangers. 

A phrase I’ve heard and read absolutely everywhere today has been something equivalent to: “The balance of power has now shifted in the AL West,” but has it?  Let’s take a quick look at the impact this deal has on the American League West and if it has indeed shifted the balance of power. 

The same exact things were said about the Angels being the new “Ruler of the West” last season after signing Pujols and Wilson; yet even after adding pitcher Zack Greinke at the trade deadline, the Angels finished third in the division and missed the playoffs. 
The Angels now have a very expensive and crowded outfield, and are more than likely going to field offers for Vernon Wells.  They’ve also lost starting pitchers Greinke (to the cross down Dodgers) and Dan Haren (to the Washington Nationals) plus they traded away Ervin Santana to the Royals.  They’re now desperately thin in the pitching department.  Hamilton is on the wrong-side of 30, and god only knows what years of drug abuse have done to his body.  He has a terrible time hitting during the day, and now he’ll be playing 82 games a year in sunny Los Angeles.  Despite his ability to go deep, and often; $25 million per year is a lot to pay for someone with so many question marks at his age.   

The Rangers are much worse off than they were at this point last year.  Just last week they were the favorites to land Greinke and   re-sign Hamilton.  Now they’re without both, and also have lost Mike Napoli to the Boston Red Sox.  Look for the Rangers to try very hard to acquire Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks, as they’ve been mentioned as the favorite to trade for him recently. 

The Oakland A’s have lost a couple key free agents this offseason (most notably outfielder Jonny Gomes and starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy) but they also traded for former Diamondbacks talented centerfielder Chris Young.  They have the combination of young/skilled pitching, speed, power and fielding to compete with any team in Major League Baseball, despite having the second smallest payroll last season. 

Overall, it’s very likely at this point that little has actually changed in the balance of power.  The Angels will more than likely finish second now ahead of the Rangers, but there is no reason why the Oakland Athletics and their young, highly talented roster cannot win this division for the second straight season.  Look for the Seattle Mariners and the newcomer Houston Astros to bring up the rear out west this year.   

Nick Slegel

Nick Slegel

Favorite Quote:
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious." - Vince Lombardi
Favorite Athlete:
Prince Fielder
Favorite Movie:
Field of Dreams
Bottom of 6th
MIA
2
SEA
0
Bottom of 5th
PIT
6
MIL
5
Top of 5th
NYM
1
ATL
2
Top of 5th
TB
6
NYY
0
Top of 3rd
TEX
1
CHW
1
Top of 3rd
LA
0
ARI
1
Bottom of 2nd
COL
0
PHI
0
Top of 1st
SD
0
SF
0
Final
CLE
0
TOR
5
Final
WAS
3
STL
4
Final
DET
5
LAA
2
Final
BOS
4
BAL
2
Final
KC
5
MIN
4
Final
CHC
8
CIN
4
Final
OAK
4
HOU
3
Final
CHC
1
CIN
4
Final
CLE
2
TOR
3
Final
PIT
3
MIL
5
Final
WAS
3
STL
1
Final
DET
6
LAA
11
Final
BOS
4
BAL
8
Final
NYM
0
ATL
6
Final
MIA
8
SEA
4
Final
TB
11
NYY
5
Final
TEX
12
CHW
0
Final
KC
5
MIN
0
Final
COL
12
PHI
1
Final
OAK
11
HOU
3
Final
SD
2
SF
1
Final/12
LA
2
ARI
4
1:05 PM ET
CLE
-
TOR
-
1:08 PM ET
DET
-
LAA
-
1:10 PM ET
NYM
-
ATL
-
1:10 PM ET
MIA
-
SEA
-
1:35 PM ET
PIT
-
MIL
-
1:35 PM ET
WAS
-
STL
-
1:40 PM ET
TB
-
NYY
-
2:10 PM ET
KC
-
MIN
-
2:20 PM ET
CHC
-
CIN
-
3:05 PM ET
TEX
-
CHW
-
4:05 PM ET
OAK
-
HOU
-
4:10 PM ET
LA
-
ARI
-
4:10 PM ET
COL
-
PHI
-
4:10 PM ET
SD
-
SF
-
7:05 PM ET
BOS
-
BAL
-
MLBFantasySaturday, April 19, 2014

Jose Abreu, the talk of the off-season for the Chicago White Sox is off to a good start thus far for his new team. There...

MLBFantasySaturday, April 19, 2014

Today we have a full slate of games that includes seven day games and eight night games. This is gives us plenty of options to...

MLBSaturday, April 19, 2014

It’s nearly three weeks into the season and already MLB has been full of excitement and surprises. The Defending World Series Champions are off to...

Invalid username and/or password.
User Account has not been confirmed. Please go to your email and click the activation link.
Thank you for subscribing to the eDraft newsletter. Please check your email for confirmation.