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Angels, Kendrys Morales reach contract terms, avoid arbitration

January 11, 2012 | 10:27 am

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The Angels and still-recovering first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales on Wednesday avoided salary arbitration by striking a $3-million deal for the 2012 season.

Morales broke his left ankle when he jumped on home plate following his game-winning homer over the Seattle Mariners on May 29, 2010. He hasn't played since having surgery and a follow-up operation last May to clean scar tissue and debris in the ankle joint.

Morales, who has also undergone a bone graft, currently is participating in some conditioning and baseball-related drills, General Manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters Tuesday, and will work out for Dipoto and others Friday in Arizona.

Dipoto said he would not set a target date for Morales' return, only whenever "Kendrys mends."

The Angels would obviously love nothing more than to place the switch-hitting Morales in the lineup with newly acquired first baseman slugger Albert Pujols. Morales in 2009 batted .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in.

RELATED:

Dipoto: 'No timeline, no date' on Kendrys Morales' return

Kendrys Morales begins running, can increase baseball activity

Albert Pujols' Angels deal official, could be worth $268.75 million

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Kendrys Morales in 2010. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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