Josh Hamilton surprised a lot of people by signing a five year contract with the Anaheim Angels recently. While there was no doubt that he was going to sign somewhere for a lot of money, most people assumed that he was going to stay in Texas. There were many good reasons for him to do so. Can he be productive next year in Anaheim?
Who Will Watch Over Him?
It was thought that the Texas Rangers had at least one employee who was devoted to making sure that Hamilton was staying on the straight and narrow. It has been well chronicled that Hamilton has had issues with alcohol addiction throughout his life. He has even succumbed to his addiction on at least two separate occasions. If he is not able to keep his demons in check with someone watching him, will he be able to do so if the Angels don't afford him that same treatment?
How Will He Adjust To His New Team?
Albert Pujols was a player that many thought would put Anaheim over the top last season. However, he struggled from the plate early in the season. Those struggles put himself and the team in an early hole that they were not able to climb their way out of. Will Hamilton have the same type of slump to start the season that Pujols did? The answer to that question is still relatively unclear. For starters, Pujols was still adjusting to pitchers in a new league who he had little experience with. Hamilton will have the luxury of facing the same pitchers for the most part.
He Won't Have To Be The Man
The good news is that he won't have to be the main star on that team. The Angels will have Pujols, Mike Trout and players like Jarrod Weaver to go along with Hamilton. This means that he will have protection in the lineup as well as other faces that fans will be able to take out their anger on if things go bad. That alone should allow him to relax and play like the superstar that he is. Another factor working in his favor is that there may be a honeymoon period where fans allow him to struggle as he finds his role on the team.
The Division Won't Be As Strong This Year
Even if he doesn't play well, he may not need to approach the levels of last year to help out the team. The Mariners are not going to be a contender yet again this season, the Rangers have been decimated by free agent defections and the A's have to prove that they can win again next season. 90 wins or so may be enough to win that division. Therefore, playing in a weaker division may actually help him put up good numbers next season.
When all is said and done, Josh Hamilton will be worth the $125 million that he is being paid over the next five seasons. While some say that he is past his prime, it is inconceivable that he will suffer a significant drop in production over the next two years when his salary is actually going to be less than it will be in the final years of his deal. Overall, he should be a great value for the Angels in 2013.
Author Bio: Don Phan is a part time sports blogger and works full time for Fanatics, Inc. as a marketing associate. His company boasts a large selection of MLB fan gear for all 30 major league teams.