Angels sign Kendrick to 4-year extension

The Angels signed second baseman Howard Kendrick to a four-year contract extension on Saturday night, an industry source confirmed.

The deal, which USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported to be worth $33.5 million, will take care of Kendrick’s final season of arbitration and his first three free-agent years, but won’t be official until Kendrick undergoes a physical on Monday. Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said recently that he had begun extension talks with Kendrick and shortstop Erick Aybar, his two arbitration-eligible players who are a season away from hitting the open market.

Kendrick is coming off arguably his best season in 2011, one that saw him bat .285 with 63 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a career-high 18 homers. The 28-year-old right-handed hitter, who’s expected to bat in front of Albert Pujols this season, was a 10th-round Draft pick by the Angels in 2002 and has compiled a .292 batting average, .329 on-base percentage, 50 homers and 61 stolen bases in his first six seasons with them.

The Angels’ two other arbitration-eligible players are Kendrys Morales and Alberto Callaspo, both of whom are two years away from free agency.

– Alden Gonzalez

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