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Free agent shocker: Hamilton to Angels for 5 years, $125 million

Josh Hamilton has 125 million reasons to smile (Associated Press).

So I know folks in places like San Francisco, Detroit, St. Louis, Washington and maybe even Toronto might argue but should I just book my hotel right now for 10 days next October for a Freeway World Series in sunny Southern California?

The Dodgers have gone completely off the deep end salary wise this offseason and now comes Thursday afternoon's shocker: Multiple outlets are reporting that the Los Angeles Angels are luring Josh Hamilton from Texas for a five-year, $125 million contract. Hamilton and Albert Pujols in the same lineup? Yikes. They'll have plenty of stories to tell from the 2011 Fall Classic! And don't forget Mike Trout in the same outfield. Crazy.

Trout's reaction on Twitter was one word: "Wow." It got more than 4,700 retweets in less than 55 minutes after posting! 

Former Angel Torii Hunter wasn't happy. He signed with Detroit and has tweeted that Angels owner Arte Moreno told him "money was tight." Of course, Hunter is 37 and that might have something to do with it too

The Hamilton deal is another huge loss for the Rangers, who didn't sign Zach Greinke either this winter or make a trade for Justin Upton. Maybe now they go back to the New York Mets for R.A. Dickey. Texas didn't want to go past three years for Hamilton and was pretty much daring him to go out and find a team that would take on the risk of his checkered past. Hamilton did and the Rangers got burned. 

And the move thus completely changes the balance of power in the AL West. Think the A's will be favored to repeat in the division next spring? Think not.

---Mike Harrington
Twitter: @BNHarrington 


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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |