Whether or not you were in favor of offering him five years, there is no question that Josh Hamilton would have given the Phillies -- or any other signing team in the playoff conversation -- a much better shot at competing for a World Series. That dream scenario is over now, as Hamilton according to multiple reports has agreed to a five-year, $125 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
It's the second straight offseason the Angels have come out of nowhere to land the biggest prize on the market. The total value of Hamilton's deal is worth 52% of the $240 million the Angels committed to Albert Pujols last year.
You'll notice that Hamilton's deal is not only the same as Ryan Howard's, but also kicks in at the same age -- 32. Bla bla bla, off-the-field issues ... the gap between Hamilton and Howard is monstrous. Hamilton has been worth 16.9 WAR the last three seasons. Howard has been worth 2.1.
Some other thoughts on the Hamilton signing...
• This probably makes Peter Bourjos expendable for the Angels. Unfortunately, the Phillies have already used trade chips to acquire Ben Revere, a slightly lesser player, to play centerfield. You can't fault Ruben Amaro for doing so, either. None of us had any idea Hamilton would end up with the Halos. Oh-by-the-way, Revere's introductory press conference is today.
• The other possibility is that it makes Mark Trumbo a trade candidate. But Trumbo's power probably makes him more valuable to the Angels than Bourjos, especially when you consider that Bourjos' best asset (defense) would be offset by Los Angeles having to move Mike Trout from CF. Trout and Hamilton are good enough defensively that the Angels could keep Trumbo in a corner spot and still catch mostly everything.
• Now that you think of it, it's a bit surprising nobody connected Hamilton to the Angels. Los Angeles was making a push to keep Zack Greinke, who signed for $147 million, leaving enough money for Arte Moreno and Jerry DiPoto to go after Hamilton. It was expected all along Greinke would get more than Hamilton ... so if the Angels were linked to the market's best pitcher, why not the best hitter, too?
• The Phillies' best remaining free agent options are Nick Swisher, Cody Ross and Scott Hairston. They reportedly made a two-year, $14 million offer to Ichiro. Probably a good thing he said no.