Originally posted on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 1/6/12

The January 6th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Morales undergoing medical tests, Dipoto says signing Madson is "very unlikely," Angels open extension talks with Aybar and Kendrick and much more...

The Story: Kendrys Morales is off to undergo tests on his leg with a specialist in Colorado.

The Monkey Says: This sounds scary, but it really shouldn't be.  Given how long this whole process has taken for Morales, it is silly to think that he wasn't ever going to see a doctor again and that it is a specialist shouldn't be cause for alarm, just a sign that the Angels are making sure Morales gets the best care.  Actually, the tone of the organization sounds pretty optimistic for Kendrys right now.  However, if these tests don't go well, at least it is early enough for them to make other plans to replace his potential production unlike last year when Morales wasn't shutdown until mid-March.  Also, a very special note, there is a guy on Twitter that I won't name because I don't want him getting any more publicity, but he is COMPLETELY FULL OF CRAP, but he is getting some run around the rumor mill right now because he tweeted that Morales might retire if these tests don't go well.  Do not believe these reports.

The Story: Jerry Dipoto says it is "very unlikely" that the Angels will sign Ryan Madson.

The Monkey Says: This is the same GM that also repeatedly called the chances of the Angels pursuing Albert Pujols not very good, so, take this statement as seriously as you want.

The Story: The Angels have opened contract extension talks with Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar.

The Monkey Says: This sounds exciting, but it is really just standard procedure for arbitration eligible players.  They might sign both, one or neither.  It really depends on how badly they want to keep each player and how badly each player wants to stay in Anaheim versus testing the free market to determine their true value.

The Story: Mark Trumbo is considered an asset not a trade chip right now.

The Monkey Says: This is pure GM speak.  First off, you can't say you want to trade a player because it automatically reduces his value by alienating the player.  Second, with Trumbo not healthy, the Angels' hands are tied when it comes to shopping him since teams will be hesitant to acquire a guy who doesn't have a clean bill of health.

The Story: Mike LaCassa has been hired as the Angels' new manager of minor league operations.

The Monkey Says: This is another guy they are poaching from the Rangers front office, so this is clearly a move where Scott Servais wielded great influence.

The Story: More details on Albert Pujols' contract emerge, including his post-retirement services deal and luxury suite perks.

The Monkey Says: Essentially, only $240 million is guaranteed, but that is misleading because many of his incentives are highly certain to be met.  One could also argue that his ten years of one million dollar salaries for "personal services" after his playing contract expires is basically the equivalent of deferred payments.

The Story: Does Jordan Walden deserve another shot at closing?

The Monkey Says: This is wondering about his mindset after his meltdowns late in the season, which is actually a fair concern, unlike those worried about his ten blown saves (because, you know, saves is a BS statistic).  I think Waldo will be just fine, but it is one of those things we probably won't feel truly comfortable about until we see Jordan locking down saves in big games during the regular season.

The Story: Earl Bloom will not be voting for Tim Salmon in the Hall of Fame, but he feels bad about it.

The Monkey Says: Well, that sucks, but it also is probably the right thing to do.  Salmon was pretty good, but he isn't Cooperstown material.  My only real hope for him with this voting is that he can at least get the necessary 5% to stay on the ballot for one more year.  However, out of the 93+ ballots that have been revealed thus far, nobody has voted for him.  And if a guy from the OC Register isn't going to give him a vote, then the quest for 5% seems pretty hopeless.

The Story: LaTroy Hawkins is ready to stabilize the bullpen.

The Monkey Says: My gut tells me that Hawkins will be more valuable as a veteran presence in the bullpen than as a reliever on the mound.  No offense to him, but the less high leverage situations he pitches in, the better off the Angels are likely to be.


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