Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 12/19/12
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have quickly fixed the logjam in their offense that was created when they signed Josh Hamilton by dealing designated hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for starting pitcher Jason Vargas. The trade will allow the team to keep Peter Bourjos (who Jon Heyman predicted would now be the team's center fielder), along with getting a glove away from Mark Trumbo and putting him at DH. This trade seems a little bit odd from both standpoints. After playing in just 51 games in 2010 after breaking his leg, Morales missed all of 2011, returning to the Angels for a full 2012 season. The 29-year old largely scuffled through the season, hitting 22 homers with a .787 OPS as the Angels' primary DH. Now, he'll head to a Seattle team that already has a full-time DH in Jesus Montero, perhaps indicating that Montero will see more time behind the plate in 2013 and that Justin Smoak's playing time at first base will drastically decrease after his game hasn't taken the leap to the next level. On the bright side for Seattle, Morales immediately becomes the team's best power threat. No one on the Mariners hit more homers than Morales' 22 in 2012, and his .194 ISO also would have led the team. Of course, there's the Safeco Field factor to account for here with Morales, though he has a .904 OPS and seven homers in 34 career games there. The return for the Angels is...questionable. Vargas is a guy who lots of teams were sniffing around at the trade deadline, but no one could pry him from Seattle's grasp. Vargas is your typical innings eater, throwing 217 2/3 innings last season while posting a 3.85 ERA with a career-best 2.56 strikeout to walk ratio. But by leaving the friendly confines of Safeco Field behind, Vargas is going to probably see his stats get bloated despite replacing the Angels offense with the Mariners offense on his docket. During his four year career with the Mariners, Vargas has had a road ERA at least two runs higher than his home ERA in three of them, including 2012. On the road, Vargas has gotten torched for home run after home run, allowing 26 in 2012 in just 118 2/3 road innings.  Now, while Angel Stadium does play as a pitcher's park, it's nowhere near as extreme as Safeco Field. I'd expect Vargas to see his ERA rise with the move to Anaheim, but I'm not exactly expecting a two run spike like his home/road splits would indicate. I'm also curious as to what the effects of the Angels defensive outfield will be on Vargas. He's primarily a flyball pitcher, and having a pair of studs in the outfield like Bourjos and Trout could turn a lot of balls into outs that fell last year around a Mariners outfield that was below average defensively aside from Ichiro (traded in July) and Casper Wells (part-time). I'm not sure Varga is really going to solve any issues in Anaheim, though. The team has a homer-prone innings eater in their rotation in Joe Blanton, and they have a homer-prone flyball happy starter in Tommy Hanson as well. Even Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson allow a decent bit of homers, and they're your aces. Vargas just seems like an expensive (projected to make $7.4 million this year, his final year of arbitration) back-end starter, and I think they could have gotten more for Morales. The Mariners will now face an interesting decision with what to do with Smoak now that Morales has entered the fold, and if a team is willing to gamble, they could have a former blue chip prospect for a low cost and little risk. Mr Zduriencik, Andrew Friedman on line one... [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Ref with Deflategate connection to work Pats game

Sam Bradford is proving himself to be the answer for Eagles

L.A. mayor would want Caitlyn Jenner to light Olympics torch

Segway cameraman apologizes for running down Usain Bolt

Do the Miami Dolphins finally have a coach worth fighting for?

Drew Storen wants a trade this winter – and he’ll likely get it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kobe Bryant: ‘I Was An Idiot When I Was A Kid’

Anthony Davis wants gold medal more than NBA MVP

Report: Ronda Rousey’s last fight topped 900,000 PPV buys

Rose issues statement denying sexual assault allegations

Giants’ rookie Tomlinson blasts a grand slam for first MLB home run

Coughlin treats training camp-weary Giants to ‘spa day’

Denard Span heading to DL again, season appears finished

Are neutral site games good for college football?

Why NFL preseason games matter

Nick Mangold assists cops in car burglary crime wave

Heat owner proposing Miami Vice-type uniforms to fans

Robert Griffin III is hilariously injury prone in Madden 16

How much did Felix Hernandez solve?

Winners and losers from the sports world: August edition

Is it safe to say Justin Verlander is officially back?

Melvin Upton Jr. channels Willie Mays with catch

John Elway talks up Colin Kaepernick: ‘I’ve always liked Colin’

Enrique Hernandez falls down trying to hit Aroldis Chapman pitch

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker