Today is the day in which players and clubs exchange figures for salary arbitration, and the Angels had six players file for arbitration last Friday. The have come to an agreement with two of those players, shortstop Erick Aybar and first baseman Kendry Morales, avoiding arbitration, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Aybar signed for $3 million, while Morales inked a one-year deal for $2.975 million.
Morales is coming off an injury-plagued season, as he missed the final 111 games of 2010 after breaking his leg jumping on home plate after hitting a walk-off grand slam against Seattle. Morales, who enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2009, finishing fifth in MVP voting after hitting .306/.355/.569 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI, was hitting .290/.346/.487 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI through 51 games last year before getting hurt. Morales made $700,000 last season, and this is his first season of arbitration eligibility.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported that Morales will receive a $50,000 bonus for reaching 550 plate appearances.
Aybar made $2.05 million last season, his first year of arbitration-eligibility. After a solid 2009 season, during which the shortstop hit .312/.353/.423, slumped to .253/.306/.330 last season in 138 games. Aybar battle left leg injuries at different times last season, missing eight games in June with a left knee injury and missing 10 more in September, after the Angels were out of the race, with a left leg strain.
The Angels still have pending arbitration cases with Jered Weaver, Mike Napoli, Howie Kendrick, and Reggie Willits. They agreed to terms with fellow arbitration-eligible players Alberto Callaspo and Jeff Mathis last week. The Angels have roughly $100.1 million committed to 15 players in 2011.
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