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.

Report: Rangers’ deal with Seung-hwan Oh is off

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The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.

Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.

While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.