The story of the Rangers' offseason took another huge turn today as slugger Josh Hamilton, the team's biggest star since he was acquired five years ago, signed with the division rival Angels.
Per multiple sources –– notably ESPN Dallas' Ben Rogers, who had the first report –– the deal is for five years and around $125 Million. At a Rangers media luncheon, General Manager Jon Daniels confirmed Hamilton had signed with LA.
He also stated that, despite Hamilton saying early on that he would give the Rangers a chance to match any offer, Texas did not get a call until after Hamilton agreed to his new contract.
"I never expected that he was going to tell us to the dollar what they had, and a chance to offer it. Our full expectation, the phone call was going to be before he signed, and certainly not after," Daniels said. "Everybody's got to make their own calls."
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.
Texas had hoped to sign the 2010 AL Most Valuable Player, who led the Rangers to consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011.
This represents another big blow to the Rangers' prospects for contention in 2013. Catcher/DH Mike Napoli agreed to terms with Boston during the winter meetings and free agent pitcher Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers earlier this week.
Hamilton hit .285 with a .354 on-base percentage, 43 home runs and 128 RBI in 2012. His season ended in unceremonious boos as he disappointed down the stretch, but he remained one of the most popular Rangers players.
He joins a team that spent big last offseason to add first baseman Albert Pujols for $240 million and pitcher C.J. Wilson — Hamilton's Texas teammate — for $77.5 million. Yet, the Angels disappointed and failed to make the playoffs.
We'll have more, including reaction from players and the coaching staff, as soon as it's available.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)