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 RBIs 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.”
Neither can dozens of red-clad Angels fans, who lined up outside a restaurant where Hamilton was introduced. The team had a table set up for ticket sales and he signed autographs on his way inside.
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 Los Angeles Dodgers, who are on track to surpass the New York Yankees as baseball’s biggest spending team in 2013.
“I think it’s just great,” he said about the Dodgers’ spending spree this week that got them former Angels pitcher Zack Greinke for a $147 million, six-year deal and South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin for a $36 million, six-year contract.
PHILLIES ADD ADAMS, LANNAN: In New York, the Philadelphia Phillies added a pair of pitchers, agreeing to a $12 million, two-year contract with reliever Mike Adams and a one-year deal with starter John Lannan.
A person familiar with each deal said Saturday the contract was subject to a physical. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreements were not yet final.
Adams’ deal includes an option for 2015 that would become guaranteed at $6 million if he has 65 games pitched in 2014.
His 2015 salary would become guaranteed at $6.5 million if he has 120 games pitched in 2013 and 2014 combined, with at least 60 in 2014.
A 34-year-old right-hander, Adams was acquired by Texas from San Diego at the 2011 trade deadline.
He was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 61 relief appearances for the Rangers this year, then missed the final week of the season because of numbness and tingling in his fingers, caused when a bone in the upper body pressed against a nerve. He had surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and is expected to recover by spring training.
Adams has an 18-15 career record with a 2.28 ERA with Milwaukee (2004-06), San Diego (2008-11) and Texas.
That deal was negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson.
Lannan, a 28-year-old left-hander, spent his first six big league seasons with the Washington Nationals. After going 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA in 2011, he received a $5 million salary when he lost in arbitration.
Washington sent him to Triple-A for most of this year, and he was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in six big league starts. He entered the rotation in September after the Nationals cut short the season of ace Stephen Strasburg because of a team-imposed innings limit.