Vargas for Morales
Johanna's View
by Johanna Wagner
Vargas for Morales
This post was written by Johanna Wagner on December 20, 2012
Posted Under: Johanna's View

The Seattle Mariners traded Claudio Vargas to the Angels for Kendrys Morales. The trade is pretty even in terms of what each needed, and what they got.  It is unusual for two teams in the same division however to help each other solve problems, and for that I believe the Mariners might be sorry in the end.

But for today, the Mariners have made a major improvement in offense without spending a lot of money.  There is pitching to be had, but not a lot of hitting, and Morales instantly moves into the heart of the M’s line-up with the highest batting average and highest OPS of anyone in their lineup last year.  While he isn’t Josh Hamilton, he might be more in line with what the Mariners need, since any time we have seen a superstar land with a team of journeymen for a big salary, he drains the teams resources and hurts the moral of the younger players with his special treatment.  Morales only has one year left before free agency, and has to show a lot of teams but especially the Mariners that he can work anywhere with anyone.  Morales isn’t enough to make the Mariners contenders.  But the money they will save by missing out on Hamilton, should allow them to replace Vargas’s innings through free agency and still allow them room to make other deals as needed.

Meanwhile, the Angels quickly sign their logjam and get another pitcher to make their rotation pretty deep.  Vargas won 14 games last year, but that was with the lowest offense putting up runs behind him.  That means he can win a 1-0 game- something AL GM’s all look for.  Does that make him an Ace?  Not yet.  But with a little comfort in the run support department, Vargas could have the chance to develop into one.

Both Morales and Vargas have to be happy about the opportunities ahead of them. This could be a deal that helps both go into free agency after next season looking like All-Star players.   It could also give them extra tools that will help them have long careers.

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