Kendrys Morales Rumors
On this date in 1948, the Brooklyn Dodgers acquired announcer Ernie Harwell from the Atlanta Crackers for catcher Cliff Dapper in an unconventional trade that the Dodgers won easily. Here's the latest on L.A.'s two teams...
- James Loney tells Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times that he loves playing for the Dodgers and hopes the team wants him back in 2012. The first baseman is under team control next year, but would earn a raise from $4.875MM if the Dodgers offer arbitration, which makes him a prime non-tender candidate.
- Clayton Kershaw was the National League's pitcher of the month in July and his season numbers are now more impressive than ever. The 23-year-old has a 2.68 ERA with a league-leading 177 strikeouts, a career-best rate of 2.3 BB/9 and a career-best 13 wins. It should all translate into a salary of $5MM or more next year, when Kershaw is arbitration eligible for the first time.
- Angels GM Tony Reagins tells Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that having lots of powerful bats at first base is a "good problem." Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo and C.J. Cron give the Angels an abundance of power at first base and Reagins says situations like this "have a way of working themselves out."
- The Angels are considering replacing the struggling Joel Pineiro in the rotation, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter). It's not clear whether the Angels will look to the bullpen, the minors or outside of the organization.
Kendrys Morales will undergo a second ankle surgery and is out for the season, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Morales' rehab had stalled, so he went to Colorado for a second opinion this week, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. The first baseman has not played or run at full speed since last May 29th, when he broke his left ankle in a walk-off celebration.
Catcher Bobby Wilson has five games of MLB experience at first and Howie Kendrick, who is now playing left field for the Angels, has played 69 games at first. The bulk of the playing time will presumably continue to go to Mark Trumbo, the powerful rookie who has a .270/.311/.486 line with 6 homers through 119 plate appearances this year.
Morales, 27, earns $2.975MM through arbitration this year and is under team control through 2013. He hit .306/.355/.569 with 34 homers in 2009, finishing 5th in the AL MVP voting.
Links for Sunday, as players around the league break out the pink bats. Happy Mother's Day!
- Kendrys Morales will travel to Vail, Colorado to see a foot specialist for a second opinion on his left ankle, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. In a followup tweet, DiGiovanna says that they've "explored" the possibility of surgery. Mark Trumbo has filled in for Morales with a .265/.296/.500 line and six homers.
- Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the Padres should consider trading one of their late-inning arms, perhaps Heath Bell, for offensive help.
- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's open to exploring a trade for a closer. While Mozeliak is on board with Tony La Russa's current "hot hand" approach for the ninth inning, the GM would prefer to see more defined roles in the bullpen as the season progresses.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer examines the likelihood of Phillies starter Cole Hamels playing in Philadelphia long-term.
- As Newsday's Ken Davidoff writes, there may not be any top starting pitching available at the trade deadline this year. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes drew the same conclusion after examining the midseason trade market for the AL and NL in mid-March.
There are two intra-divisional matchups between NL and AL West rivals slated for tonight. The Rockies face the Diamondbacks at Chase Field while the Mariners host the Rangers. Here are some tidbits from the western divisions...
- "There is discussion in the [Giants'] executive offices as to how long they can stay with [Miguel] Tejada and Pat Burrell," reports Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jose Reyes has been mentioned as a trade target for the Giants, though Brian Sabean denied his club's interest yesterday.
- Thanks to Justin Smoak's emergence, the Mariners seem to have gotten the best of the three recent Cliff Lee trade packages, writes Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
- If Mark Trumbo keeps hitting and Kendrys Morales is out of action for most of the season, Eric Denton of the LA Angels Insider blog notes that the Angels could face a tough choice this offseason. Denton suggests the Halos could even non-tender Morales, but if they do choose to move the first baseman, surely you'd think the team could find a trade partner.
- We know the Diamondbacks have an interest in UCLA prospect Gerrit Cole with the third pick of the upcoming amateur draft, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic adds a couple of other interesting nuggets about the right-hander. Arizona also has the seventh overall pick, but Piecoro notes that since that pick is unprotected, the D'Backs "almost certainly couldn’t risk drafting him" at that spot if they pass on him at #3. Cole is represented by Scott Boras and could be a difficult signing.
- Cole was drafted 28th overall by the Yankees in the 2008 draft but he didn't sign. Piecoro "got the sense from talking with other scouts and executives that there are still some people in the game harboring a grudge toward Cole" since Cole didn't let it be known that he wasn't interested in signing back in 2008.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock profiles A.J. Hinch, the former D'Backs manager who is now the Padres' vice president of professional scouting.
- Julio Borbon welcomes the center field competition of newly-signed Rangers prospect Leonys Martin, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
Links for Wednesday as the Phillies adjust to the possibility of losing Chase Utley for a while. Click here for Tim Dierkes' list of alternatives for the Phillies and keep reading for today's links...
- Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White retired from baseball, according to the AP (on ESPN). The 26-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Royals in September.
- Other teams showed interest in Hideki Matsui, but the DH told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that the A's were the only club to make him a formal offer.
- Kendry Morales tells Kevin Baxter of the LA Times that his first name is actually Kendrys. His birth certificate reads "Kendrys Morales," but he never corrected the Angels' documents.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports compares Zack Greinke's injury to the one Cliff Lee suffered last year. The Brewers are hoping the parallels end there, since the Mariners lost 101 games last year. As Rosenthal explains, Greinke's injury isn't the only concern for Milwaukee.
- Tim Dierkes lists 30 starting pitchers to watch for fantasy purposes at RotoAuthority.
While the Angels have picked up a reputation for adding pricey outfielders in recent years, they have a highly touted, cheap one on the farm in Mike Trout. Here's more on him and some other items of note ...
- Trout is ranked No. 1 on ESPN analyst Keith Law's list of Top 100 prospects of 2011, released Thursday. Leading the charge with regard to top-25 prospects are the Royals and Rays, with three apiece. Be sure to keep the names on this list in mind, as some of them will surely come up in trade talks this season and into next offseason. In fact, two of the top 25 have already been dealt: The Blue Jays' Kyle Drabek (formerly of the Phillies) and the Padres' Casey Kelly (formerly of the Red Sox).
- The Orioles are one team that has shown interest in minor league free agent Kevin Mahar pending the resolution of the Vladimir Guerrero situation, MLBTR has learned. Teams are considering Mahar as an outfielder/first baseman at the Triple-A level, after the 29-year-old hit .261/.342/.423 for the Phillies' Double-A affiliate.
- The Orioles will be in attendance when free-agent pitcher Justin Duchscherer throws a bullpen session in Arizona on Friday, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. However, that is not to overstate Baltimore's interest, Kubatko notes, because scouting a pitcher's bullpen session is fairly common, and teams can only glean so much from it.
- The Royals announced left-hander Brandon Sisk as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, and the Brewers did the same of infielder Erick Almonte, according to press releases from each club.
- Angels owner Arte Moreno said that the addition of Vernon Wells' salary will not preclude the team from engaging in contract-extension talks with young stars Jered Weaver and Kendry Morales, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. The Halos have already begun those talks with Weaver.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them - it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.
Links for Thursday night..
- It will take time for Don Wakamatsu to rejoin the "hot list" of managerial candidates, opines T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- The Cubs were wise to deal Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee rather than let them walk in free agency, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
- Manny Delcarmen was shocked to learn that he was dealt to the Rockies, according to the Associated Press.
- The Royals will keep their Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska through 2014, writes MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
- Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times tweets that the Rays have extended their agreement with Double-A Montgomery through 2014.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia recently told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that the Angels are prepared to keep replacing Kendry Morales from within, even though the club is open to making a deal. The Angels have choices: they can keep relying on the players in their system, or they can trade for a corner infielder. It's time to hear your predictions.
How are the Angels going to replace Kendry Morales?
Now that it's been confirmed that Kendry Morales' ankle surgery will sideline him for the rest of the season, the flurry of rumors connecting the Angels to various available first basemen will only intensify. It's possible that the likes of Lance Berkman, Paul Konerko, or maybe Derrek Lee could be wearing Anaheim red before the season is out, but Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com has another suggestion: none of them.
Rather than give up prospects and money to pick up a big-name first baseman, Saxon thinks the Halos should instead use the resources to get starting pitching, bullpen help or a third baseman. Getting a first baseman wouldn't help the club get any further in the postseason.
"Even with, say, Konerko hitting home runs fairly regularly in the second half, was this team ever going to make any noise in October?" Saxon asks. "How do you like the Angels' chances against the New York Yankees again? How about the Tampa Bay Rays, even the Minnesota Twins? In their current incarnation, the Angels would be first-round fodder and, these days, their fans don't get too worked up about making playoff appearances. They have higher aspirations, and so does the organization."
Saxon doesn't say L.A. should wave the white flag on the season; indeed, it might be hard to do that given that a .500 record might be good enough to compete in the AL West. The Angels had won 12 of 15 games heading into today's action to move a half-game behind Texas for first place. Rather, Saxon is suggesting that a first baseman is a needless addition given that he believes at best, such an acquistion would just net the Halos the division title (which they could win anyway).
It's a reasonable argument to make given that the Angels are coming off some significant offseason losses --- John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero, Chone Figgins, etc. --- and already have over $80MM in committed salary for 2011 (thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts). Adding a high-priced bat for a late-season rental can cost the Angels a lot of money and valuable prospects. Los Angeles has worked hard under Arte Moreno's ownership to turn itself into a franchise that is perpetually in contention and never "gives up" on its quest for a World Series, but there's no reason why Morales' freak injury should potentially wreck more than one season if L.A. overpays to fill Morales' spot.