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).

Steven Matz homers in back-to-back starts

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Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.

Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).

Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.

Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.