Results tagged ‘ Kendrys Morales ’
The Angels avoided arbitration with recovering first baseman Kendrys Morales by agreeing on a one-year contract Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Morales was expected to get about $3 million via arbitration.
Since batting .306 with 34 homers and 108 RBIs in ’09, Morales has missed the last 1 1/2 seasons with a broken left ankle, which he suffered while stomping on home plate after a game-winning home run in May 2010 and has since had two procedures on.
Morales’ signing leaves infielders Erick Aybar, who general manager Jerry Dipoto has begun extension talks with, and Alberto Callaspo as their lone remaining arbitration-eligible players. Aybar is one season away from free agency, while Callaspo – like Morales was – has two years left before hitting the open market.
– Alden Gonzalez
A lot has been made about the logjam at first base and designated hitter the Angels’ signing of Albert Pujols created. General manager Jerry Dipoto, however, doesn’t see it that way.
With previous first basemen Mark Trumbo (stress fracture in his right foot) and Kendrys Morales (broken left ankle) still slowly recovering from injuries, Dipoto appears to prefer to go into Spring Training with the comfort of having Trumbo, Morales, Bobby Abreu and Alberto Callaspo — each of whom was at one point perceived as trade bait now that Pujols is the Angels’ first baseman — all on the roster.
Here’s what Dipoto said when asked about it on Tuesday, during an informal luncheon to announce Howie Kendrick’s four-year extension …
“A lot of times, the perception from outside is a little different than the perception from within. There’s different elements to each player. Albert Pujols right now is our everyday first baseman, and we have, if you view the position as first base in a combination with DH, and a combination with what you would consider the bat that fills the void in extra outfield, corner infield, utility-type role, you can conceivably turn what appears to the naked eye to be two positions into closer to four. As we sit here right now, we’re very uncertain about where Kendrys is with regards to his time on the calendar, and we go into the season for potentially four spots worth of plate appearances with right now three players. And when you can be in a situation, or when you find yourself in a situation where the upside of Kendrys Morales’ return is just that to your roster, I think you’re in a very good position.”
More coming soon on Angels.com.
– Alden Gonzalez
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
The Angels have begun extension talks with the representatives for second baseman Howie Kendrick and shortstop Erick Aybar, general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed Thursday.
Kendrick and Aybar are both lifelong Angels, are both heading into their final years before free agency and are both coming off arguably their best seasons.
“It’s certainly something we’re exploring, and something we feel is important, otherwise we wouldn’t be exploring it,” Dipoto said. “Howie and Erick are both career-long Angels. We want to make sure that continues. We have four arbitration-eligible players remaining and they’re all important to us, and we want to make sure that each one of them is given the appropriate attention, and we’ve already taken the initial steps in the case of Howie and Erick, and making sure we can make them a part of what we’re doing here moving forward.”
The Angels’ other two arbitration-eligible players are first baseman Kendrys Morales and third baseman Alberto Callaspo, both of whom have two seasons to go before hitting free agency.
Dipoto said there is no timetable for the Kendrick and Aybar negotiations, but that those are the only two they’re negotiating with right now. Kendrick’s agent, Larry Reynolds, declined to go into specifics.
“We’re going to see where the process takes us; that’s all I can say at this point,” Reynolds said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s really kind of early in the process.”
– Alden Gonzalez
The Angels will indeed tender Kendrys Morales a contract prior to Monday’s deadline, general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed during Saturday’s introductory press conference for Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
After finishing fifth in voting for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award in 2009, Morales missed nearly two full seasons with a broken lower left leg. A lot is still unknown about Morales’ status for 2012, regarding his health – he’ll still need to prove he can run at full speed in Spring Training – and whether or not he’ll remain with the team.
But the Angels will at least keep their options open.
And when asked about plans for a cleanup hitter behind Pujols, manager Mike Scioscia went directly to his switch-hitter, who’s entering his second year of arbitration after making $2.975 million in 2011.
“The one thing that sets us up really well is if Kendrys Morales is coming back; just his presence, being from the left side,” Scioscia said. “Right now, a player like Albert, there’s really only one way to protect him. One is get guys on base in front of him, and the other is have some depth behind him that will take advantage when they walk him, or he gets on base a lot, too. So I think we’re going to get guys in front that hopefully are not going to set the table, but be able to run and get in scoring position and do things that you want for the middle of your lineup.”
– Alden Gonzalez
Frigid weather notwithstanding, the Angels are geared up for their season opener against the Royals.
“Every Opening Day is a new experience,” clubhouse leader Torii Hunter said. “We have a great blend here of young guys who can’t wait to get started with their careers and older guys like Vernon [Wells], Bobby [Abreu] and myself who can teach them some things and show them the way. I really like our team. I think we’re ready for a big year.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia echoed Hunter’s sentiments, adding that he’ll feel even better when Kendrys Morales returns from his foot ailment to fortify the heart of the lineup.
“We’re definitely excited, ready to get after it,” Scioscia said from the visitors’ dugout about 2 1/2 hours before game time at Kauffman Stadium. “We feel good about where we are. I know we have some growth. I hope we can continue to improve as we get into the season and get a little deeper.”
That depth was a reference not only to Morales, who could be back in about three weeks, but also setup man Scott Downs, whose recovery from a broken bone in his left big toe is right on schedule. — Lyle Spencer