Yesterday brought the surprise news of Josh Hamilton signing for 5 years and $125 million with the Los Angeles Angels. The team hadn’t really been considered on the radar for Hamilton during the process and with the way things were shaking out as far as other deals it appeared likely he would return to the Texas Rangers. For the second year in a row the Angels claimed the top prize on the market and this time hurt a division foe as well.
In terms of offensive explosiveness the Angels will either be especially fun to use or difficult to contend with when facing. Hamilton joins Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Mark Trumbo. That foursome alone combined for 135 home runs and 411 RBIs last season.
There are question marks with the team though relating to the pitching staff and particularly the bullpen. The starting staff is shaky behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. It’s quite possible that Trumbo or another position player could be traded for pitching help before the season begins.
Regardless it’s always been easier to get more out of lower rated pitchers than lower rated hitters in baseball video games so the powerful offensive lineup offers potentially irresistible value. That would especially be true for online play if there is nothing in place to prevent the #1 starter from being used in every game.
Remember that the 2012 Angels actually had more wins than the eventual AL Champion Detroit Tigers. They were on the cusp last year and if Trout had started the season with the team instead of being called up a month in they may have been there in the playoffs too. This is a dangerous team and one that will see even heavier use now come MLB 13: The Show.