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.
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).
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.