Remember yesterday when Jerry Dipoto said that he was pretty much done making moves? And remember earlier in the off-season when he insisted that the position player side of the roster was set? Yeah, about that…
According to MLB source the Angels are in SERIOUS negotiations with Josh Hamilton. No deal has been reached as of yet.
— Joe McDonnell (@joeontheradio) December 13, 2012
And thus the rumor mill began spinning out of control since Joe McDonnell has a stellar track record on such matters. Still, plenty of people doubted this could happen given the Angels' full outfield and allegedly limited financial flexibility. Those doubters would be silenced two hours later though:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 13, 2012
Yup, Dipoto did it again. As of this writing we don't know the money involved, but it is yet another high-risk, high-reward move for the Angels. If it pays off, they could very well have the best lineup in the AL. If it doesn't and Hamilton can't stay healthy or struggles with his demons, then we all could end up thinking back fondly of the days when Vernon Wells' contract was the biggest albatross on the payroll. Again, we don't know the money, but five years is a major commitment for a guy who has played in less than 148 games in four of his six big league seasons AND has had at least two very public relapses with his well-documented substance abuse problems.
All that said, I think I kind of like the move because it shows that the Angels are still committed to going all in on winning a championship or four over the next five years. Hamilton makes for a wonderful middle of the order complement to Albert Pujols, giving the Halos a much-needed power bat from the left side of the plate. He definitely struggled with consistency last season, but with Pujols and Trout around him, the Halos should be able to survive any similar swoons better than that Rangers did.
But what I really like about this is the additional roster flexibility this gives the Angels. As many immediately pointed out, the Angels now have one too many starting outfielders. As such, we should all be expecting a trade centered around either Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo or Kendrys Morales. My money is on Bourjos with Morales a distant second. They could package any of those three with someone like Garrett Richards and/or Hank Conger to address the weakness in their rotation. In fact, about half the internet has already connected the dots and suggested a the Halos call up the Mets to offer a package for R.A. Dickey (or maybe Jon Niese as a consolation prize).
We will see what happens on that front, but for now, let's just sit back and enjoy this "big splash" and cross our fingers that it doesn't turn into a franchise-ruining tsunami.
Oh, and once again, I remind you to never ever believe anything Jerry Dipoto says in an interview.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman has reported that Hamilton will get $125 million and Jeff Passan is reporting that the Angels have already called the Mets about R.A. Dickey. So, there's all that.