The Los Angeles Angels announced on Wednesday that they have avoided arbitration with first baseman Kendrys Morales, signing him to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.
Morales hasn't played since May 29, 2010, when he suffered a freak injury breaking his left leg after landing on home plate while celebrating a walk-off grand slam against the Seattle Mariners. In his recovery from that injury, Morales has had two ankle surgeries in 2011.
Morales, 28, had a breakout year for the Angels in 2009, hitting .306/.355/.569 with 34 home runs. He was hitting .290/.346/.487 with 11 home runs in 51 games in 2010 when he injured his leg. Morales made $2.975 million in 2011, and will probably make somewhere near that amount in 2012.
The Angels have a bit of a logjam now that they have signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $250 million contract to play first base. They also have Mark Trumbo, who hit .254/.291/.477 with 29 home runs as a rookie in 2011, and Bobby Abreu and his $9 million salary as the likely designated hitter. At the very least, Morales will provide the Angels with power off the bench, a switch-hitter who will provide them with versatility.
The Angels just need to see if Morales is healthy first.
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