It’s rare to see divisional rivals make a trade with one another. Well, it just happened. The Angels had a need for another starter. The Mariners had a need for a power bat in the lineup. We have a match. The Angels have shipped Kendrys Morales to the Mariners in exchange for left handed starter Jason Vargas.
Aug 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Jason Vargas (38) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Vargas is from Apple Valley California. He was 5-5 with a 2.74 ERA at home and a 9-6 record away from Safeco, but with an ERA of 4.78 in 2012. Morales came back from his horrific leg injury in 2010 and hit. 273 with 22 homers and 73 RBI. Both will be free agents after 2013.The Mariners had a hard time attracting free agent bats to Seattle. They have a farm system that’s loaded with promising young pitchers and needed to get a bat. Morales will play first and DH as well when Justin Smoak or Jesus Montero is out of the lineup or playing first and catcher respectively.
For the Angels, Vargas will be either the third or fourth starter, depending on how Mike Scioscia sets up his rotation. Vargas has pitched over 190 innings the past three seasons so he fits the innings eater that the Angels wanted. It does make the Angels very right hand dominant minus Josh Hamiton in the lineup. It also means they will have quite possibly the best defensive outfield in the game with Hamilton, Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos, with Mark Trumbo and possibly Vernon Wells playing a little bit.
Morales was probably not going to be an Angel come 2014. Vargas was probably not going to be a Mariner come 2014 either. This way they each get something for their respective player. It makes sense for both teams.