Angels Trade Kendrys Morales to Mariners for Jason Vargas

Kendrys Morales' name was just heating up on the rumor mill.  He barely had time to make the rounds of potentially connected teams.  Aside from the Tampa Bay Rays who were interested last summer and a few minor rumors, Morales' name was not mentioned much during this hot stove season.  But now he counts for another relatively large move made by the Los Angeles Angels.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels traded Morales to the Seattle Mariners yesterday for pitcher Jason Vargas.  Morales became expendable when the team added Josh Hamilton to the lineup.  However, Los Angeles did not want to part ways with him without getting something solid in return.  And they did.

Morales will be a nice power addition for the Mariners, but the Angels got another starting pitcher who can shore up the back end of the rotation.  Vargas made 33 starts last season for the Mariners.  He has managed to stay healthy since the 2008 season in which he suffered a torn labrum in his left hip.  He posted a 14-11 record in 2012 with a 3.85 ERA.  In his seven-year career, Vargas has a 4.35 ERA.

The Mariners will be getting a seemingly healthy Morales to add some pop to their lineup.  Morales missed most of the 2010 season and the entire 2011 season after suffering a broken leg while celebrating a home run.  He managed to play 134 games this past season and hit .273/.320/.467 with 22 home runs.

As far as contracts are concerned, both Vargas and Morales are comparable.  They are both entering their final year of arbitration eligibility and can be free agents after the 2013 season.

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