LOS ANGELES — Josh Hamilton is heading to the Los Angeles Angels, lured with a $125 million, five-year contract that steps up the migration of 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.
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 Alex Rodriguez’s $27.5 million average with the Yankees.
Red Sox finalize Victorino deal
Hawaiian Shane Victorino was so excited to arrive in Boston in the chill of December that he ordered New England clam chowder at dinner and sent a picture to his Twitter followers.
That’s when he got his first lesson.
“It’s CHOWDA Shane!” Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury corrected him.
“That was the first real message from Jacoby for Boston,” Victorino said at a news conference to announce the $39 million, three-year deal he agreed to at the winter meetings. “I’ve got to learn the lingo.”
Victorino joins Ellsbury in the outfield, with the opportunity to replace the 2011 AL MVP runner-up when Ellsbury’s contract expires at the end of next season. For now, Victorino is slotted for right field, where he has not played regularly since 2007.
Sources: Dempster, Red Sox agree at $26.5 million
Boston has agreed to terms with right-hander Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington would not comment on Dempster at the Victorino news conference.
Suzuki, Yankees close in
Ichiro Suzuki and the Yankees are closing in on a contract that would guarantee the 39-year-old outfielder between $12 million and $13 million. A person familiar with the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agreement likely would be for a two-year deal.
Correia, Twins finalize $10 million, two-year deal
Minnesota has filled another hole in a staff that was full of them last season, when their starters posted the second-worst ERA in the majors and 12 pitchers took at least five turns in the rotation.
After finalizing a $10 million, two-year contract with Kevin Correia, general manager Terry Ryan acknowledged there’s no guarantee the right-hander will strengthen the group. Ryan said he’s still looking for candidates after casting a wide net at the winter meetings.