The Los Angeles Angels sent Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Jason Vargas. Morales and Vargas each are eligible salary arbitration and can become free agents after next season. Morales made $2.975 million and Vargas $4.85 million last season.
The 29-year-old Morales became expendable after the Angels added Josh Hamilton and the Mariners were willing to move Vargas in the hopes of adding some oomph to their feeble lineup. Morales hit .273 with 22 home runs, 73 RBI and an .833 OPS last season after missing the entire 2011 season after breaking his leg in 2010 while celebrating a game-ending grand slam ironically against the Mariners. No Seattle “hitter” had an OPS higher than .738 for the 2012 season.
So far this offseason, the Angels have lost Zack Greinke and Dan Haren to free agency and traded Ervin Santana, but in getting Vargas, the former Long Beach State teammate of new Angels teammate Jared Weaver, is a major risk. The 29-year-old Vargas did lead Seattle in wins last season, going 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA, pitching a career-high 217.1 innings, and is 36-42 with a 4.09 ERA in four years with the Mariners.
The risk lies in Vargas’s numbers away from spacious Safeco.
Vargas in 2009
Vargas in 2010
Vargas in 2011