Angels, Kendrys Morales avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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UPDATE: Morales’ deal is for the same salary he made last season, $2.975 million, and also includes a $50,000 bonus for reaching 550 plate appearances.

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Kendrys Morales hasn’t played since breaking his leg in May of 2010, but rather than make him a free agent last month the Angels tendered him a contract for 2012 and now the two sides have avoided arbitration with a one-year deal.

There’s still no timetable for Morales’ return to game action, but the Angels have stockpiled more than enough first base, corner outfield, and designated hitter depth to continue playing it very cautiously with his recovery.

Given the Angels’ willingness to throw around money all offseason and the team’s new television deal a one-year contract for something close to the $3 million Morales was paid in 2011 is a drop in the bucket, but it’s worth wondering if they could have non-tendered the 28-year-old first baseman and re-signed him for a lower salary (or at least less guaranteed money).

Someone stole the bat from the Ken Griffey, Jr. statue at Safeco Field

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The Mariners unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. earlier this year at Safeco Field, featuring the slugger in his famous follow-through seen after each of his 630 career home runs. Chris Daniels of KING 5 News in Seattle reported on Tuesday evening that someone had stolen the bat from the statue.

Thankfully, the Seattle Police Department announced that the bat has been recovered and a suspect has been arrested. They expect to provide more details later. Daniels reports the Mariners have confirmed the news.

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.