Morales agrees with Angels, avoids arbitration
Injured first baseman Kendrys Morales and the Los Angeles Angels agreed Wednesday to a one-year contract worth $2,975,000, avoiding salary arbitration.
Morales hasn't played since breaking his left ankle while jumping on home plate to celebrate a game-ending grand slam May 29, 2010. His deal matches last year's contract and includes the same $50,000 bonus for 550 plate appearances.
The Cuban slugger appeared to be on the verge of stardom after batting .306 with 34 homers and 108 RBIs in 2009, but has undergone several procedures on his injured ankle, including a bone graft and surgery to remove scar tissue last year.
The Angels still don't know whether Morales will be healthy for spring training next month, but they're cautiously optimistic.
The switch-hitter has been cleared to begin certain baseball drills later this week, and general manager Jerry Dipoto hopes Morales will join Albert Pujols in the Angels' lineup this season.
Two Angels remain eligible for arbitration: shortstop Erick Aybar and third baseman Alberto Callaspo.