The Los Angeles Angels will tender a contract to first baseman Kendrys Morales despite the signing of free-agent Albert Pujols, according to MLB.com.
Morales has missed nearly two full seasons after sustaining a broken lower left leg. His health is still in question, but general manager Jerry DiPoto confirmed that Morales, who is entering his second year of arbitration, will be tendered a contract. Morales did not play in 2011, but hit .306 with 34 home runs in his last full season – 2009. He played in just 51 games in 2010, hitting .290 with 11 home runs.
"The one thing that sets us up really well is if Kendrys Morales is coming back; just his presence, being from the left side," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Right now, a player like Albert, there's really only one way to protect him. One is get guys on base in front of him, and the other is have some depth behind him that will take advantage when they walk him, or he gets on base a lot, too. So I think we're going to get guys in front that, hopefully, are not going to set the table, but be able to run and get in scoring position and do things that you want for the middle of your lineup."
The Angels have the newly-signed Pujols and Mark Trumbo, who hit 29 home runs as a rookie in 2011, already available to play first base. "There's always work to be done. But I'll tell you, the way I feel about the roster is, I feel like we're in a better position today than we were in yesterday," Dipoto said. "Very excited. Very excited."