Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Mlb_may_17_0a35
M’s find another bat for 2013 With the trade of Jason Vargas to the Los Angeles Angels for Kendrys Morales, the Mariners have made their biggest splash of the offseason. Both players are 29 years old and set to be free agents in 2014. But they also fill big needs for their news teams. This is a win-win for everyone. And it was certainly the right move for Seattle. Gaining Kendrys Morales After many long years, Seattle has finally solidified the first base position. Not since Richie Sexon have the Mariners had a reliable Major League first baseman. They thought they were acquiring that with Justin Smoak, but after three disappointing seasons he’s been a bust. Morales has prototypical first baseman power, slugging 67 home runs and 76 doubles over his last three seasons. The switch-hitter is a career .281/.331/.491 hitter. In order to keep him healthy—Morales broke a leg in 2010 and missed all of the 2011 season—the Mariners will establish a rotation between first and DH. As a first baseman Morales has been solid defensively, owning a 20.1 career UZR. Morales will be a solid bat beyond Montero (Photo: Steven Bisig / USA Today) The 29-year-old will slot in nicely in the middle of the Mariners order. Hitting fourth makes the most sense, so Morales can provide vital protection for Jesus Montero. To really make this deal work, Seattle needs to pursue an extension with its new acquisition. They have no long term fixes at first and Morales will be a free agent in 2014. Hashing out a new deal now would make the most sense—and secure a strong offensive presence for the future. Losing Jason Vargas It was obvious Vargas never fit into Seattle’s long term plans. So far this offseason, the M’s have extended Hisashi Iwakuma, discussed extending Felix Hernandez for life and showed no intentions towards trading one of the big three (Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker). Yet they had no discussions of keeping Vargas around. When an opportunity came to move Vargas, Seattle pounced. Vargas was solid last season, posting a 3.85 ERA in 217.1 innings pitched. But the pitcher was much better at home (2.74 ERA) than away (4.78 ERA). The left-hander is a fly ball pitcher, living and dying by his changeup. When a team’s No. 2 pitcher has a 4.45 xFIP—and the dimensions of its park is becoming more hitter friendly—it’s time to cut ties. Moving forward, the Mariners still retain five starters from last season with Big League experience. And it wouldn’t be surprising to see Paxton and Hultzen get an opportunity to compete for a roster spot come Spring Training. That’s excluding the number of high-upside options still on the market—Francisco Liriano, Jair Jurrjens, Roy Oswalt and Shaun Marcum to name a few. Seattle’s rotation will most likely take a hit in 2013—especially from a lack of innings—but it shouldn’t leave an ill-effects from 2014 and beyond. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Ortiz surprised military families with World Series tickets

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Floyd Mayweather posts photo evidence of a lost bet

WATCH: Paul George takes court for first time since leg injury

Five most surprising NFL players through seven weeks

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

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!

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.