From this point forward, one thing ought to be clear about the Angels' roster-building plans: They keep them quiet.
Two months into an offseason in which Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto had spoken publicly only about improving the club's pitching, the Angels stunned the baseball world Thursday by agreeing to a deal with Josh Hamilton, the best hitter on the free-agent market.
The Angels would not confirm the deal, but Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told reporters he had been informed by Hamilton's agent that the slugger was signing with the Angels.
It was reportedly a five-year, $125 million deal. The average annual salary of $25 million would tie Hamilton with the Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard as baseball's second highest-paid player, behind only New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez, who makes $27.5 million per year.
News of the deal surfaced just a day after Dipoto, at a news conference to introduce his team's four pitching acquisitions, said he felt no more moves were "imminent." He'd also said repeatedly throughout the offseason that he was content with the team's core of everyday players.
The surprising agreement was reminiscent of last year's $240 million deal with Albert Pujols, which also stunned the baseball world.
Hamilton must pass a physical before the deal can be announced, which is expected to happen by Saturday.
In getting Hamilton, the Angels added one of baseball's most dynamic players to a lineup that already includes Pujols, a future Hall of Famer, and phenom Mike Trout, 21. They also added a player who has struggled to stay healthy and has battled substance-abuse issues throughout his career.
Hamilton would presumably play left field, with Trout in center and Mark Trumbo in right, although the Angels also have Peter Bourjos, so they have flexibility to make another deal.
Hamilton, 31, hit a career-high 43 homers in 2012. He hit .285 with 128 RBIs, finishing fifth in the MVP voting. He won the MVP award in 2010, when he won the batting title with a .359 average, to go with 32 homers and 100 RBIs.
The Angels added Hamilton to their lineup, and they will benefit by taking him from their division rivals. The Rangers, who have finished ahead of the Angels and made the postseason the past three years, were the favorites to retain Hamilton.
Daniels even had an understanding that Hamilton would get back to the Rangers before he signed elsewhere.
After Hamilton's agent contacted Daniels on Thursday morning to tell him his client had already agreed with the Angels, Daniels said he was disappointed "to some degree" with the process.
"I never expected that he was going to tell us to the dollar what they had, and a chance to offer it," Daniels said. "Our full expectation, the phone call was going to be before he signed, and certainly not after. Everybody's got to make their own calls."
Hamilton has had trouble staying healthy over the past few years. He has played more than 135 games only twice in the past six seasons. Even in his MVP season in 2010, he missed the final month of the regular season. He played 148 games in 2012, but he was fighting through injuries for much of the second half, when his performance slumped. Hamilton hit .245 in September.
Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, who has been public about his abstinence from alcohol, was Hamilton's teammate in Texas. It is likely the Angels believe Wilson's presence can help Hamilton stay out of trouble.
The Hamilton signing also opens the door to a new series of questions for the Angels. They had planned to move Trout to left field and play Bourjos in center, but now Bourjos appears to be expendable. He has value because he's an outstanding defensive player, and he was a solid offensive player in 2011, when he got regular playing time.
If the Angels chose to play Hamilton and Bourjos on either side of Trout, Trumbo would certainly fetch more on the trade market. The Angels also could deal Kendrys Morales and leave the designated hitter spot for a rotation of Hamilton, Pujols and Trumbo, but Morales has less value because he's signed for only one more year and he is a DH.
Another option could be to simply keep everyone. In that case, the Angels might be inclined to release Vernon Wells, who is slated to be a $21 million bench player.