The Los Angeles Angels figured to be AL West superpowers this season, at the very least. Many experts picked them to win the World Series heading into the 2013 season, and it wouldn't have been a tough proposition to argue.
Mike Trout? Check. Jered Weaver? Check. Albert Pujols? Check. And ... Josh Hamilton, check.
Pujols signed a mega-deal before the 2012 season and played in just 99 games in 2013. Hamilton was signed this past winter, given a $125 million deal, and tanked miserably.
Yet, here we are, in late October and the St. Louis Cardinals are back in the World Series without Pujols. The Texas Rangers were certainly not world-beaters in 2013, but they made it to an AL Wild Card tiebreaker despite a ton of injuries and adversity, and without Hamilton.
The Angels failed once again, finishing a distant third in the AL West as Pujols hit .258 with 17 homers and 64 RBIs in his 99 games in the second year of his 10-year, $240 million deal.
Hamilton just looked like a lost soul for much of the season before turning things around late in the year, and way too late to make a difference for the Angels. He finished the year hitting .250 with 21 homers and 79 RBIs in 151 games after hitting .285 with 43 homers and 128 RBIs in 2012 with the Rangers.
The future was expected to look very bright for the Angels, at least in the short-term future, but it's been dull from the beginning and shouldn't be getting much better.