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Hamilton, Angels finalize $125M, 5-year deal

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Hamilton, Angels finalize $125M, 5-year deal

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Feeling ``a little upset'' that Texas didn't move quickly enough to re-sign him, free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton donned a Los Angeles Angels jersey on Saturday after finalizing a $125 million, five-year contract that he called a new chapter in his life.

``I started off with the Devil Rays and now I'm an Angel,'' said the five-time All-Star who was drafted by Tampa Bay before making his major league debut with Cincinnati in 2007.

Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, joins a batting order that already includes Albert Pujols and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout. The 31-year-old Hamilton hit a career-high 43 home runs last season and batted .285 with 128 RBIs in 148 games.

``To get a guy like Josh and combine him with Albert is going to give us building blocks for what we hope is years to come,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``We can't wait.''

Neither can dozens of red-clad Angels fans, who lined up outside a restaurant where Hamilton was introduced. The team had a table set up for ticket sales and he signed autographs on his way inside.

Hamilton's $25 million average salary matches Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard for the second-highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million average with the New York Yankees.

``It was a great investment,'' said Angels owner Arte Moreno, who insisted he wasn't trying to keep up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are on track to surpass the New York Yankees as baseball's biggest spending team in 2013.

``I think it's just great,'' he said about the Dodgers' spending spree this week that got them former Angels pitcher Zack Greinke for a $147 million, six-year deal and South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin for a $36 million, six-year contract.

``Why would I ever want to wish something bad on someone? I really liked Greinke, but you make a decision how much you're going to spend on one player. We said we're going to get a couple relievers and a pitcher. I personally can't wait to play them.''

Hamilton agreed to the deal with the Angels on Wednesday after having talked with them since the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

``They like to get after it,'' he said.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels had hoped to re-sign Hamilton, who led Texas to consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. He said he was disappointed the Rangers never got a chance to match any offer during the process, as they had expected, or be contacted before Hamilton agreed with another team.

``I gave them everything I had for five years,'' Hamilton said. ``I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little upset they didn't put the press on.''

Hamilton's wife, Katie, spoke up and compared the situation to dating.

``We were with them for five years. If you're going to date someone, you make it known and official pretty quick,'' she said. ``They let us date other teams and Josh had said he would give them first chance and they didn't (make a move).''

Hamilton interjected, saying, ``She said, `You should have put a ring on it.'''

He said he met with Daniels a week earlier and ``told him where my heart was. I was feeling like it was time for me to move on in general. There was no specific thing, like I'm upset or anything like that. It was just time to move on.''

The slugger was considered a risk by some teams because of his history of alcohol and substance abuse, which derailed his career before his surge with the Rangers over the past five seasons. Hamilton had a relapse with alcohol last January and another one in 2009.

``I have a past history of making mistakes with drugs and alcohol, drinking twice in seven years, which is not good for me,'' he said. ``They're going to help me with my support system to put things in place that I had with the Rangers. Nothing that is straining the organization or the clubhouse.''

However, Moreno said there's no special protection for the Angels in Hamilton's contract if he relapses other than what is standard in any MLB contract.

Shayne Kelley, who worked in a support role for Hamilton in Texas, will be a daily presence with the team, according to Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto.

``We've done our fair share of due diligence,'' Dipoto said.

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Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

The injuries just keep coming for Derrius Guice.

The second-year running back will miss the Redskins Week 15 contest against Philadelphia after suffering a left knee injury against Green Bay, interim head coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday. The injury is on the same knee that Guice tore his ACL in just a year ago that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season.

The severity of the injury is still unclear. Guice underwent an MRI on his knee earlier on Monday. The team is still waiting for the results.

Guice missed eight weeks earlier this season after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during the Redskins Week 1 loss in Philadelphia. He was placed on injured reserve and returned in Week 11.

Entering Sunday's contest, Guice was coming off the best game of his young career. In Week 13, the second-year veteran ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in the Redskins' victory over Carolina.

Guice seemed on his way to another big game in Green Bay before getting hurt. He finished with 42 yards on just five carries, including a 23-yard run, the play he suffered the injury on.

The LSU product has shown flashes of how good he can be, but injuries keep occurring for Guice. He's played in five NFL games in his two-year career and been forced to leave the game early in three of those.

Whether the injuries are just a series of bad luck or not, the Redskins need Guice to stay healthy.

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    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    SAN DIEGO -- Davey Martinez has been busy. His rural retreat, usually well-used by this stage of the offseason, has sat empty. He spent time with his kids in Tampa in between declining appearance requests. He tried to get his life back in order for the last five weeks. Time to himself has not been part of the process. Nor has anything but positive feelings.

    “It’s been awesome,” Martinez said. “Really has. Something that I wake up in the morning and think about everything that transpired and how we got to where we got to and the final moment... That, to me, never gets old.”

    Relaxed in a dress shirt and sport coat, Martinez started Monday with interviews by the reporters pool at the Winter Meetings. Two of his former players -- Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon -- are among the prime focuses of the event. Future contracts are what the meetings become about. Martinez is now included in that topic.

    He’s entering the third, and final, year of his three-year deal. The Nationals hold an option for a fourth year. Martinez said he is not thinking about it.

    “No,” Martinez said. “I really haven’t. For me, I feel blessed I got an opportunity to do what I do. I know I’m coming back. Now, I’m just getting some time off and getting ready for spring training.”

    Martinez entering his third year is notable. Managers of the Nationals rarely make it there. Manny Acta started a third season as manager. Davey Johnson handled two-plus seasons as manager. No one has made it through three full seasons since baseball returned to the District. And, who would have thought Martinez would?

    Year One was a mess. The Nationals missed the playoffs, Martinez appeared off-kilter at times, and injuries doomed the season as much as under-performance. A mere 82 wins followed, the fewest since 2011. 

    The pressure was high before the failed season. Washington’s ownership chose Martinez specifically over bringing back Dusty Baker. Why? Because advancing to the first round was not enough. Only the World Series was acceptable. Martinez, with vast major-league life experience and zero managerial experience, was charged with guiding the team to a spot its owners and payroll expected. The team barely won more than it lost.

    Then May of 2019 hit. The 19-31 nadir following multiple embarrassments in New York, against the Mets of all teams, pushed Martinez’s employment status toward the edge. He said then it wasn’t on his mind, though at the time he was unsure how to fix expansive bullpen problems. Managing principal owner Mark Lerner said during the postseason he never considered firing Martinez. Both are difficult to believe as 100% truths. 

    As the team turned, so did the view of Martinez. The postseason performed as a breakthrough for both. Washington finally made it out of the first round of the postseason. Martinez’s decision-making worked and worked again, all the way through Game 7 of the World Series. By the end, narratives flipped. The team which couldn’t play well when it mattered most completed a comeback-filled championship run. The manager so many wanted to push out, became a man of the people, drifting into the streets during the championship parade.

    Another year is coming. Davey Martinez remains the manager of the Washington Nationals. He’s into his third year and, barring disaster, appears set to make it to the end, which would be more history for the organization.

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