Angels finalize five-year, $125 million contract with Josh Hamilton

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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.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.