The Los Angeles Angels just did not feel comfortable going with either Garrett Richards or Jerome Williams as their No. 5 starting pitcher in the rotation to begin the 2013 MLB season, so they decided to make a move by trading one of their surplus bats. On Wednesday, the Angels traded Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for Jason Vargas.
Morales was entering the final year of his contract, and there had been rumors ever since the Angels signed Josh Hamilton that the team would look to move a bat for an arm. While Peter Bourjos was mentioned most often, the Angels preferred to keep the outfield strong defensively and use Mark Trumbo at first base to spell Albert Pujols while he serves as the primary designated hitter throughout most of the season.
Vargas will slide into the No. 3 or No. 4 spot in the rotation for the Angels, one which also features Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson at the top, as well as Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton to round out the starting five. It should be more than a formidable starting rotation, even in the offensive happy American League West.
Then again, the Angels just took the greatest piece that the Rangers had, and the Houston Astros coming over should be a feast for opposing pitching.
It is rare to see two teams pull off a trade within the same division, but this one should benefit both teams. The Angels wanted another pitcher, while the Mariners have been seeking an offensive upgrade for years. Having already signed Jason Bay and acquired Robert Andino this offseason, and now they add Morales at a rather inexpensive rate for next season.
The move will still allow both teams to have financial flexibility going forward, as Morales and Vargas will earn less than $5 million as they enter another year of arbitration, in which they could receive considerable raises, depending on how well they perform for their new teams in 2013.
This trade may wrap up a busy offseason for the Angels, although I would not rule out another move or so going forward. The Mariners, however, are still looking to wheel and deal, and may still sign a marquee free agent, especially one who can provide some more power to a rather anemic lineup from the 2012 season.
The post MLB Trade: Angels Trade Kendrys Morales To Mariners For Jason Vargas appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.