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).

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.