Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
With the departure of Josh Hamilton, it has shed some light on free agent signings throughout baseball. All things considered, the Hamilton signing is definitely one of the worst of all-time, hopefully he works through his personal issues, but on the baseball side it was a terrible deal. Lets take a look at some of the worst free agent moves made by the Angels in recent memory.
Gary Matthews Jr.- 5 years $50 million
A true product of the steroid era right here. Matthews was basically unnoticed in the bigs from 1999-2004, until his monster 2005 season where he came out of nowhere to hit 59 home runs and steal 54 bases for the Rangers. He followed the monster 2005 season with a strong all around performance at the dish and defensively in 2006, which would be enough for the Angels front office to roll out the red carpet for him. Unfortunately, it never worked out. In three seasons with the Angels, Matthews Jr. never hit over .252 and combined for 30 home runs total. Eventually he was traded to the Mets with the Angels eating close to $22 million of his $23 million remaining on his contract.
Joe Blanton- 2 years $15 million
For the most part of his career Blanton had been an inconsistent starter that had some success early on his career. The Angels signed him in 2012 hoping he could regain some of that form and turn into a dependable starter in the rotation. That idea quickly was diffused after a brutal first season with the Angels going 2-14 with a 6.04ERA and whiplash from seeing the ball fly out of the park so much. The next year Blanton was granted an unconditional release from the front office.
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Speier- 4 years $18 million
While it wasn’t a huge contract, it still turned out to be unjustified when it was all said and done. Speier had a strong first season with the Angels, posting a 2.51 ERA in 51 games, but never regained that form. In his next two years, Speier would post a 5.03 ERA and a 5.18 ERA before he was released the following season.
Steve Finley- 2 years $14 million
The Angels were in a position looking for outfield help for the 2005 season and that is exactly what they didn’t get in Finley. In one season with the Angels he posted a .222 AVG 13 HR 54 RBI. The next season started with a DL stint that would eventually lead to him getting traded to the Giants for Edgardo Alfonzo.
Josh Hamilton- 5 years $125 million
This is an obvious choice. Hamilton struggled throughout his short stint with the Angels dealing with personal problems, injuries, and never being the player that he was in Texas. His best season came in 2013 where he hit .252 AVG 21 HR 79 RBI. Following a relapse, Hamilton was traded back to Texas this past week.
Albert Pujols- 10 years $254 million
The jury is still out on Pujols and he certainly has time to prove his worth. With that being said, there is almost no possible way he can live up to this contract. Regardless of what Pujols can put up number wise, this contract will most likely be a long term handcuff for this franchise. At 35 years old, he isn’t getting any younger and his price tag is only getting bigger. From age 39-41, Pujols will make $28 million, $29 million, and $30 million in 2021 at 41 years old. No player is worth $30 million at 40 years of age.