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The Week’s Big Moves – Hamilton to Angles, Greinke to Dodgers, Youkilis to Yankees

 

It’s been a busy week in the free-agent market with several big names finding new homes for the 2013 season. Perhaps the largest signing of the week came on Wednesday, when the Los Angeles Angels announced the signing of free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract. Hamilton will get paid $25 million a year, matching Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard for the second largest salary in baseball behind Alex Rodriguez’s $27.5 million. Hamilton leaves behind the Texas Rangers, who reportedly did not react quickly enough to match the Angels’ offer, and will begin a new chapter in his life with Los Angeles. Hamilton will play the outfield and DH for the club who signed free agent Albert Pujols last offseason and looks to have one of the most formidable offenses in baseball with the addition of Hamilton.

A former Angels pitcher also landed a new home this week, though he will not need to relocate as Zack Greinke signed a six-year, $147 million contract to join the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers also signed South Korean left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu to a six-year, $36 million deal. The Dodgers are trying desperately to get back into contention in the NL West after a disappointing 2012 campaign. They are hopeful that Greinke, a former CY Young winner, will be the man who can lead the way. Last season, Greinke went 15-5 for the Angels and the Brewers and finished the season with a 3.48 ERA over 212.1 innings of work. The Dodgers are expecting Greinke to be their ace and head up a rotation that is expected to include Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Becket and Ryu.

The Yankees were players this week as well, agreeing to terms with free-agent third baseman Kevin Youkilis on a one-year, $12 million deal to fill their void at third with Alex Rodriguez injured. Youkilis had offers on the table from the Dodgers and the Cleveland Indians, but ultimately the Yankees give him the best opportunity to win next season, and he will be able to play third base, as the Indians wanted him to shift to first as part of their offer. When Rodriguez is able to return to action, which is expected to be in the second half of the season, Youkilis will be able to DH and spell first baseman Mark Teixeira in order to remain in the Yankees’ line-up.

Other moves this week saw the Indians trade right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Cincinnati Reds in a three-team deal that also saw the Reds receive infielder Jason Donald. The Indians received outfielder Drew Stubbs from the Reds, and also received right-hander Trevor Bauer and relievers Matt Albers and Ryan Shaw from the Arizona Diamondbacks. In return, the Tribe sent left-hander Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson and the Reds sent minor-league shortstop Didi Gregorious to the Diamondbacks to complete the three-team deal. The Indians also added free-agent first baseman Mark Reynolds this week to fill the void left by the departing Casey Kotchman and Matt LaPorta. The Indians are reportedly amongst the front-runners to sign free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher to replace the departed Choo in right field.

The Cardinals signed infielder Ty Wiggington to a two-year $5 million contract in hopes to add some pop to their offense. Wiggington has hit 15 or more homers in six of his eleven big-league seasons. The Royals came to terms with 34-year old outfielder Xavier Nagy, signing him to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training to compete for a spot on their ball club. The deal comes on the heels of the Royals making two major upgrades earlier in the week by signing starting pitcher James Shields and acquiring starting pitcher Wade Davis from the Tampa Bay Rays. Both men will make a serious impact on the Royals’ rotation, and the club appears to be putting pieces in place to make a run for contention in 2013.

 

 

By: Robert Gonzalez
MLBcenter.com Staff Writer

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