I mentioned a little earlier how the Angels have a bit of a logjam of hitters after signing outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract this week. Per Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and Sirius XM radio, plenty of teams are already trying to take advantage of the team’s surplus.
After missing the entire 2011 season following a freak leg injury in 2010, Morales batted .273/.320/.467 with 22 home runs, 73 RBI and a .787 OPS over 134 games this past season. The 29-year-old is set to get a raise in arbitration from the $2.95 million base salary he earned in 2012 and can become a free agent next winter, but he could be a pretty nice fit with teams who are looking to fill a void at DH or first base.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.