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Hamilton agrees to $125m deal with Angels

Josh Hamilton ( MCT)
Josh Hamilton ( MCT)
LOS ANGELES (AP) ― Josh Hamilton is heading to the Los Angeles Angels, lured with a $125 million, five-year contract that steps up the migration of high-profile stars to Southern California.

The Angels persuaded the free-agent outfielder to leave the Texas Rangers with their third big-money offseason signing in as many years. Hamilton heads to Anaheim after first baseman Albert Pujols came West for $240 million last December along with pitcher C.J. Wilson ― Hamilton’s Texas teammate ― for $77.5 million.

Still, the Angels failed to make the playoffs for the third straight year.

They had bulked up their pitching staff earlier in the offseason with the additions of pitchers Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson, along with relievers Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson.

General manager Jerry Dipoto had said Wednesday that he didn’t think a major move was “imminent or required.”

But owner Arte Moreno pulled off another coup by getting Hamilton. The 2010 AL MVP, Pujols and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout combined for 103 home runs and 316 RBIs last season.

“It’s a great day to be an Angel/Angel fan!” Wilson said on his Twitter account.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Hamilton had reached a deal with the AL West rival Angels. Two people familiar with the talks disclosed the amount and length of the contract, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.

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.

Since the contract wasn’t final, the Angels didn’t comment publicly. The team said in a statement, “We continue to look for ways to improve our team. As soon as we have something formal to announce, we will do so.”

Ichiro, Yankees close in on deal

NEW YORK (AP) ― Ichiro Suzuki and the New York Yankees are closing in on a contract that would guarantee the outfielder between $12 million and $13 million.

A person familiar with the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing, said Thursday the agreement likely would be for a two-year deal.

Acquired from the Seattle Mariners on July 23, the 39-year-old Suzuki revived his career in New York. He batted .261 with four homers, 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 95 games with the Mariners, then hit .322 with five homers, 27 RBIs and 14 steals in 67 games for the Yankees to help them win the AL East.

A 10-time All-Star, Suzuki has 2,606 hits in 12 major league seasons.

New York also planned to finalize a $12 million, one-year contract on Friday with Kevin Youkilis, who is expected to start at third base during the first half of the season while Alex Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery scheduled for next month.

Dempster, Sox agree at $26.5m

BOSTON (AP) ― The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with right-hander Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington would not comment on Dempster at a news conference to announce the signing of outfielder Shane Victorino.

“We’re engaged with a pitcher. That’s all I can say at this point,” Cherington said, without mentioning Dempster by name.

But a few hours later the sides completed the framework of a deal, the two people familiar with the talks said.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agreement was pending a physical.
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