Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Angels, Kendrys Morales have deal
By Mark Saxon
The Los Angeles Angels agreed to terms with injured first baseman Kendrys Morales on a 2012 contract Wednesday, thus avoiding arbitration.
Morales signed for $2.975 million, identical to last year's deal, with the same $50,000 bonus if he reaches 550 plate appearances.
Morales hasn't played since breaking his left ankle while celebrating a game-winning home run on May 29, 2010. He had follow-up surgery last May, wiping out his entire 2011 season. The Angels are hopeful he will be able to play this season and have him penciled in as their designated hitter and cleanup hitter behind newly acquired superstar Albert Pujols.
His return would be a significant boost to the Angels lineup. Morales batted .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBIs in 2009.
Morales is rehabbing in Arizona and the Angels said they won't have a timetable for his return until the start of spring training next month. If Morales does return to full health, the Angels likely would look to trade designated hitter Bobby Abreu.
The Angels have two remaining arbitration-eligible players, shortstop Erick Aybar and third baseman Alberto Callaspo.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.