In a surprising end to the 2012 Winter Meetings, the Houston Astros announced this evening they have agreed to terms with outfielder Josh Hamilton on a one-year contract worth $90MM. The news was first broken in a tweet by former SJN reporter Schippers Gallant:
Source: Astros and Josh Hamilton agree to 1 year deal worth $90MM.
— Schippers Gallant (@LloydMcGuinnes1) December 7, 2012
The Astros have entered what will seemingly be a long period of rebuilding after ending last season with the worst record in MLB (55-107). Signing Hamilton is the first step in that process as they will look to fill in the holes around the All-Star center fielder.
Hamilton, after being listed day-to-day numerous times throughout the 2012 season put up a final slash line of .285/.354/.577 with 43 home runs and 128 runs batted in.
Houston is also rumored to have interest in “whoever’s left on the Marlins”, Gallant reported. Astros management appears to be in heavy pursuit, as was expressed in a statement by General Manager Jeff Luhnow:
As I’ve said in the past, we’re looking beyond last year. We’re not putting any stock in last year’s record. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to get this club ready for the American League West. Just imagine the look on Nolan Ryan‘s face when we trot Josh Hamilton out there.
Gallant also reported on Tuesday that the Astros were interested signing RHP free agent Anibal Sanchez to add a Major League ready arm to their starting rotation. Gallant reported that Astros management were willing to offer Sanchez “anything he wants.”