The Angels want to sign ALL THE FIRST BASEMEN!
In May of the 2010 MLB season, Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales hit a walk-off home run against the Seattle Mariners in extra innings. He made his way around the bases and came into home plate with an emphatic leap (pictured), ready to jump around and celebrate with his teammates, as baseball players are known to do in meaningless games during the spring. However, in the case of Kendrys Morales, the celebration was short lived as he came down onto home plate and shattered his leg…for a game in May…against the Mariners. If you ever needed a moment to point to as “not being worth it,” you would be hard pressed to do better than this one. Morales was lost for the rest of the 2010 season and started 2011 on the disabled list, waiting for his leg to fully heal…which didn’t happen, and he lost the entire 2011 season after a second surgery was needed to repair the leg. The Angels then went out this offseason and signed some guy name Albert who plays first base and by all accounts is pretty good. That, along with the emergence of Mark Trumbo last season in relief of Morales and the contract of Russell Branyan, seemed like it spelled the end for Morales in Los Angeles of Anaheim. I mean, surely, three capable first baseman are enough for one roster, right? Not so fast…
The Los Angeles Angels agreed to terms with injured first baseman Kendrys Morales on a 2012 contract Wednesday, thus avoiding arbitration.
Morales signed for $2.975 million, identical to last year’s deal, with the same $50,000 bonus if he reaches 550 plate appearances.
If the past two seasons are any indication, that $50,000 bonus is a safe bet not to trigger. Might as well make it a gerbillion dollar bonus the way Morales’s leg has refused to heal.
At this point, Morales will be penciled in as the DH and hit behind Albert Pujols once he gets healthy. The problem…nobody know when that’s going to be. There is no timetable for Morales to return to the field now and there isn’t one expected by the time spring training rolls around. It seems awfully reminiscent of last season when the Angels were sure Kendrys was just about to get healthy…and then had to have surgery on his leg again. For now, you can’t believe Morales is coming back until you actually get to see him on the field with your own eyes (television broadcasts can’t be trusted).
The Angels are also making another huge assumption on Morales beyond the fact that he’ll be physically able to participate in a baseball game. How is he going to perform after missing two seasons and whatever chunk of this one he sits out? The Angels are hoping (against hope) that he returns to the form he was coming into before he broke his leg when he hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI…in 2009. The man hasn’t taken the field in almost two years, missing pretty much all of one season and the entirety of the next one, and you’re banking on him jumping right back in (poor word choice) where he left off? Albert Pujols better be prepared to see a lot of balls out of the strike zone if Kendrys “One Leg” Morales is the best option to protect him in the lineup the Angels can offer…if he can even get cleared to step on the field, that is.