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With pieces in place, Halos likely done shopping

With pieces in place, Halos likely done shopping

With pieces in place, Halos likely done shopping
ANAHEIM -- Shortly after taking part in an informal luncheon to celebrate Howie Kendrick's four-year, $33.5 million extension on Tuesday, general manager Jerry Dipoto and several members of the Angels' staff hopped on a plane headed to Arizona, where they'll spend the rest of the week conducting organizational meetings that will help lay some groundwork and allow the first-year GM to shake hands with several of those he still hasn't met face to face.

Still on Dipoto's mind will be a potential extension for shortstop Erick Aybar, who could garner a deal similar to that of his up-the-middle partner.

Other than that? Not a whole lot else.

"You're never really done," Dipoto said, "but as it pertains to where we are today, it's very unlikely you're going to see more significant additions to the team."

The Angels have essentially already made their big splashes of the offseason. Frankly, after spending nearly $330 million on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, trading for catcher Chris Iannetta, adding reliever LaTroy Hawkins on a $3 million contract and extending Kendrick, it's hard to expect much else.

Dipoto is looking to create more depth in the bullpen, as evidenced by the Angels being linked to Brad Lidge and still keeping tabs on Francisco Cordero, among other relievers. But Dipoto doesn't have much left to spend and, as he pointed out, depth "can come in a variety of different ways."

As for a potential trade to clear up some of the logjam the Pujols signing created? Don't count on it.

With first basemen Mark Trumbo (stress fracture in his right foot) and Kendrys Morales (broken left ankle) still slowly recovering from injuries, Dipoto appears to prefer going into Spring Training with the comfort of having the likes of Trumbo, Morales and outfielder Bobby Abreu -- each of whom has been perceived as trade bait at some point -- all on the roster.

"There's different elements to each player," Dipoto said. "Albert Pujols right now is our everyday first baseman, and we have, if you view the position as first base in a combination with DH, and a combination with what you would consider the bat that fills the void in extra outfield, corner infield, utility-type role, you can conceivably turn what appears to the naked eye to be two positions into closer to four. As we sit here right now, we're very uncertain about where Kendrys is with regards to his time on the calendar, and we go into the season for potentially four spots worth of plate appearances with right now three players."

Trumbo's rehab is taking a little longer than he anticipated, but Dipoto said the Angels are "not counting it as a huge concern at this point." He's still on track to heal up within the estimated five-month timetable, which would back him up to approximately around the time Spring Training begins -- at which point, he can get some work over at third base.

While in Arizona, Dipoto will get a look at Morales, who got some positive test results from Colorado last week, clearing him to run on his own power and ramp up baseball activities.

Morales, the switch-hitting slugger who has missed the last 1 1/2 seasons, had been running on an anti-gravity treadmill and hitting off a tee. Later this week, the Angels hope to introduce more baseball-specific drills to his regimen.

But that's the extent of the timelines for Morales.

"There's no timeline, there's no gauge, there's no calendar, and we don't need them," Dipoto said. "This is purely as Kendrys' body wants to heal; we're going to be there to help that out."

Dipoto declined to go into specifics about an extension for Aybar, one of three arbitration-eligible players remaining, along with Morales and Callaspo.

Like Kendrick -- before the recently signed extension -- Aybar is heading into his final season before free agency. Like Kendrick, Aybar is a key cog in manager Mike Scioscia's lineup and middle infield. And like Kendrick, Aybar's preference is to remain with the only organization he's known.

Now it's just a matter of working something out.

"Erick means a lot," Kendrick said. "Hopefully he does get his deal done also, because I've been playing with him since we're in Double-A. I feel like I know how he plays the game, and he knows how I play it. I think it's always good to be working with a guy that you have a feel for each other. And Erick's a phenomenal player. ... To be able to play with a guy of his caliber and know what he can bring to the player, it'd be exciting."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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