FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Josh Hamilton has passed his physical with the Angels, making his new five-year, $125 million contract is official. He’s scheduled to be introduced at a news conference in Anaheim at 2:30 p.m. ET this afternoon.
Per Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Hamilton’s contract includes a no-trade clause and is slightly backloaded. He will make $15 million in the first year of the contract.
Hamilton’s $25 million AAV (average annual value) ties him with Ryan Howard for the second-highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez’s $27.5 million AAV. Hamilton’s new teammate Albert Pujols has an AAV of $24 million on his deal.
The addition of Hamilton creates a logjam in the Angels’ outfield which could cause the club to listen to trade offers for Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo or Kendrys Morales. The Angels are likely stuck with Vernon Wells, who is owed $42 million over the next two seasons.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.