Angels in the market for a first baseman following Kendry Morales' surgery

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Earlier this week the Angels were said to be holding out at least some hope of Kendry Morales playing again this season, but he underwent surgery yesterday to repair the broken ankle suffering while celebrating a walk-off homer and afterward indications were that he’s all but certain to miss the rest of the year.
Now that the White Sox are admitted sellers, it’ll be interesting to see if the Angels are once again linked to Paul Konerko. Mike Napoli, Robb Quinlan, and Michael Ryan have been splitting starts at first base in Morales’ absence, but once Jeff Mathis returns from the disabled list Napoli will likely be freed up to spend most of his time at first base.
Napoli had never played an inning at first base in the majors prior to Morales’ injury last month, but his shaky defense behind the plate has always kept him from getting more action at catcher and the 28-year-old is a career .257/.354/.493 hitter with an average of 30 homers per 500 at-bats. Napoli has a career OPS of .846. By comparison, Konerko’s career OPS is .848, and he’s six years older and would cost multiple prospects.
“If [general manager] Tony [Reagins] finds something to improve the team, he’ll act on it,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “If Mike [Napoli] is playing well at first, that will add depth and make us better. Right now, in talking to Tony, nothing is imminent. But I don’t think Tony would put anything on hold if it’s the right move for us.” Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times speculates that the Angels could interested in Adam LaRoche, Lance Berkman, Ty Wigginton, Russell Branyan, and Xavier Nady in addition to Konerko.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.

Report: Rays trade Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers for prospect Jose De Leon

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 4: Logan Forsythe #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays waits in the dugout to get on deck to bat during the third inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals on August 4, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.

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Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.

Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.

Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.