Halo Headlines: Kendrick Signs 4-Year, $33.5 Million Extension, Morales Cleared to Increase Activity, Jorge Cantu Added on Minor League Deal

The January 9th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Kendrick signs four-year extension, Morales cleared for more activity, Jorge Cantu signed to minor-league deal and Kendrick and much more…

The Story: Howie Kendrick has avoided arbitration and agreed to a four-year, $33.5 million contract.

The Monkey Says: The money wasn’t initially reported, but we have the figure now and it seems reasonable.  Keep in mind though that Howie was slated to get an estimated $5+ million in arbitration anyway in 2012, so it really is a three-year extension worth about $28 million.  Looking at it that way, I think it might be a slight overpay, but not enough to be worth crying about.  Just look at it this way, he is making less annually than the likes of Pedroia, Phillips, Uggla and Cano, so he isn’t being paid like he is elite.  He is also making a bit more than less consistent guys who flashed All-Star potential, like Kelly Johnson and Aaron Hill.  Just over $9 million per year seems just about right.

The Story: Kendrys Morales has been cleared to begin running and increase baseball activity.

The Monkey Says: You may now breath a small sigh of relief.  Morales still has a way to go, but he looks to be slightly ahead of schedule compared to last season though.  The next big hurdle for him is getting clearance to run the bases, which is the step where got shutdown on back in 2011.

The Story: The Angels signed Jorge Cantu to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

The Monkey Says: This move smells like a hedge by Dipoto (even if he claims it isn’t) based on Morales and/or Trumbo not being healthy to start the year.  Cantu is a 1B/3B, but he is actually pretty lousy at third though and it seems like he can’t really hit anymore, so don’t expect much of anything from Cantu in 2012.  One thing I like about this move is that Dipoto is at least trying to bring in some veteran minor league depth, something Tony Reagins never did, which is why the Halos were stuck having to rely on so many unprepared rookies the last few years.

The Story: A look at Walden’s mixed success as a closer, mainly the effectiveness of his slider and putting away batters.

The Monkey Says: This is part of the reason it struck many as too soon for Waldo to close.  He needs time to learn how to pitch and not just blowing away batters with his heater.  His slider can be nasty, but still has to work on how and when to use it.  I’m betting he figures it out.

The Story: What if Albert Pujos is NOT worth it.

The Monkey Says: This seems like a bit of trolling, especially with the silly Soriano comparison, but I firmly believe that even if Pujols keeps putting up MVP numbers through the entirety of the ten-year contract and the Angels fail to win a single World Series, then the contract will not have been worth it.

The Story: Are the Angels and Rangers playing a game of one-upsmanship?

The Monkey Says: The idea that they are each spending because the other team is stupid, however, that they are chasing talent to out-do the other team is a little more logical.  These teams both know they are playing high-stakes baseball now and neither wants to get caught just sticking to the status quo.

The Story: Should the Angels trade Kendrys Morales and/or Mark Trumbo?

The Monkey Says: The results are pretty evenly spread right now, which isn’t much of a surprise.  I still say this question cannot be answered until we know just how healthy Kendrys Morales is going to be.  In a perfect world, he comes back at 100% (or close to it) in March.  In that scenario, and only that scenario, the Angels can then entertain the idea of moving Trumbo at the trade deadline or after the season.

The Story: Some pretty cool Angel artwork.

The Monkey Says: I am probably the last person in the world that should be expressing an opinion on art, but I approve of this because I am pretty sure the artist featured in the column follows me on Twitter.  I’m a follower whore, who knew?

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of Monkeywithahalo.com and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.