Angels, Kendrys Morales reach contract terms
The Angels and still-recovering first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales on Wednesday avoided salary arbitration by striking a deal for the 2012 season.
Morales broke his left ankle when he jumped on home plate following his game-winning homer over the Seattle Mariners on May 29, 2010. He hasn't played since having surgery and a follow-up operation last May to clean scar tissue and debris in the ankle joint.
Details of the deal were not immediately available, but it's believed Morales and the Angels settled on a figure somewhere near his 2011 salary of $3 million. Because he didn't play in 2011, the team could have slashed his salary by as much as 20%.
Morales, who has also undergone a bone graft, currently is participating in some conditioning and baseball-related drills, General Manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters Tuesday, and will work out for Dipoto and others Friday in Arizona.
Dipoto said he would not set a target date for Morales' return, only whenever "Kendrys mends."
The Angels would obviously love nothing more than to place the switch-hitting Morales in the lineup with newly acquired first baseman slugger Albert Pujols. Morales in 2009 batted .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in.
-- Lance Pugmire