Erick Aybar agrees to one-year deal, Angels still interested in long-term contract

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Last week the Angels were said to be talking to both shortstop Erick Aybar and second baseman Howie Kendrick about long-term contract extensions.

Kendrick agreed to a four-year, $33.5 million deal, but the negotiations with Aybar apparently haven’t been as smooth and today he avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.075 million contract.

Aybar is eligible for free agency after this season, but general manager Jerry Dipoto told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that the Angels will continue to pursue a long-term extension before that can happen.

Kendrick’s contract bought out his final year of arbitration and first three seasons of free agency, so a similar deal for Aybar would be for approximately $28 million over three years, along with his current one-year, $5.075 million contract. Unfortunately for the Angels, with free agency right around the corner and a solid payday assured for 2012 a 28-year-old shortstop may not want to pass up the open market for a three-year pact.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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