UPDATE 2:19 PM EDT - The Angels are nearing a five-year contract with Hamilton, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
UPDATE 2:03 PM EDT - Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports was able to confirm McDonnell's report that the Angels and Hamilton "are getting close on a deal."
UPDATE 1:44 PM EDT - The Angels are in "serious negotiations" with free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, according to Joe McDonnell of FOX Sports South West
According to MLB source the Angels are in SERIOUS negotiations with Josh Hamilton. No deal has been reached as of yet.— Joe McDonnell (@joeontheradio) December 13, 2012
ORIGINAL - The Los Angeles Angels are "positioning themselves for a big strike in the market," according to Buster Olney of ESPN:
Source: Angels positioning themselves for a big strike in the market. Hamilton? We'll see.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 13, 2012
The Angels were big spenders last winter, when they added free agent first baseman Albert Pujols and starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, and they appeared poised to do the same this offseason. However, Los Angeles missed out on Zack Greinke, who was reportedly their top target, to the Dodgers.
So far this winter the Angels have acquired Tommy Hanson in a trade with the Atlanta Braves and signed free agent right-hander Joe Blanton.
Olney speculates that the deal could involve top free agent slugger Josh Hamilton, but it isn’t clear at this point. Greinke was the market’s top starting pitcher, but Anibal Sanchez remains. Beyond Hamilton, Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher are other high-profile bats remaining in free agency.
If LA decides to go the trade route, the Arizona Diamondbacks had made outfielder Justin Upton available. While he’s reportedly not going to be dealt now that Arizona has acquired a young shortstop, you never know what can happen this time of year.