In Hamilton Trade, Arte Moreno Surprises Again With Risky Move



Arte Moreno has once again proven that he won't shy away from some of the biggest names on the free agency market and spend the big bucks.

His latest move, bold to say the least, surprised us all when the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a five year, $125 million contract with Josh Hamilton on Thursday, the second former Rangers to jump ship after the Angels owner pried away C.J. Wilson last year.

It wasn't too long ago that the Angels came out and said they would stand pat with what they already had on board in Mike Scocia's lineup while adding Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson to their starting rotation and a pair of relievers while not trying to top the club's 2012 payroll, a record $159 million.

The latest green light flashed by the Mexican-American owner, the first and only Hispanic to own a Major League Baseball team, was a move that General Manager Jerry Dipoto wasn't on horizon. It wasn't “imminent, pressing or required” but it's a move that will certainly put the Angels up there as one of the favorites to win it all.

There was a sense that the owner wasn't looking at going into a spending spree like the rival Los Angeles Dodgers have done so.

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Arte Moreno balked at giving Zack Greinke the deal that he was seeking and in turn cashed in on $147 millions for six years from the Los Angeles Dodgers, a record deal for a righthanded pitcher in baseball.

But Arte Moreno struck again yesterday in the same fashion he did last year on December 8 when he swooped in and unexpectedly snatched the biggest fish in the pond, giving Albert Pujols one of the biggest deals in baseball history.

It's a very risky and calculated decision to sign Hamilton, a player who has fought battles and overcome the alcohol and drug demons. He hit rock bottom and was on baseball's restricted list from 2003-05. The four years later the 2010 American League MVP then relapsed and once again last season in the spring.

The move will work on the in the clubhouse and on the field because of the culture that the owner has built since buying the team in May 2003.

Tory Hunter loved his stay so much and it's no hidden secret he was saddened by not being brought back after his contract expired at the end of last season. He took a friendly shot at the Arte Moreno on Twitter, writing “I was told money was tight, but I guess Arte had money hidden under a mattress” before later posting that it was a great move by his former team.

There could be no other better owner to play for especially one that will always make that unexpected move to better his team while placing the ballplayer's sense of family right up there with winning.

“He's a guy that wants to go to dinner with you. He wants to hang out with you. He wants to talk to you. He wants to learn about the family but at the same time the guy reallly wants to win,” Hunter told Fox News Latino earlier during the season.

It's a very daring move by Arte Moreno but one he will make sure works under his watch.