Mariners Swap Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales

Dave · December 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Sometimes, there’s a trade that makes so much sense in retrospect, you wonder why we didn’t all see it coming. This is one of those trades.

With the signing of Josh Hamilton, the Angels had too many position players, and one had to go. They still needed another pitcher, though, since the back of their rotation was kind of terrible, and they wanted an innings-eater who would just give them reliable starts and take away the potential for disaster. From that sense, trading Kendrys Morales for Jason Vargas makaes perfect sense for the Angels.

For the Mariners, Morales isn’t quite as perfect of a fit, since he doesn’t play the outfield, and they really need an outfielder. But, since they’re apparently not in the market for Nick Swisher, they also needed someone who could handle 1B/DH responsibilities, so that the team didn’t have to depend on Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero hitting again next year. With Morales in the mix, those two are now kind of fighting for one full-time job, though if the team uses Montero as a catcher against lefties, they can end up splitting 800 plate appearances instead of 600.

Both Morales and Vargas are useful pieces with some obvious flaws. We know Vargas’ flaws, so let’s talk about Morales. He’s a switch-hitter with some power, but he’s also too aggressive at the plate and has a pretty lengthy injury history. He missed most of 2010 and all of 2011 after breaking his leg in a home plate celebration (against the M’s), and then he wasn’t as good in his return last year as he was before he got hurt. His contact rate was a career low and his swing percentage was a career high, which are likely related, so Morales only posted a .320 on base percentage. His power makes him a useful hitter, but he’s more good-than-great at the plate, and as a first baseman, that makes him something like an average player overall.

Of course, the Mariners can get a lot better by replacing “horrible” with “average”, and Morales gives them the ability to run out a lot less “horrible” next year. If 1B/DH is a job share between Smoak, Montero, and Morales, they might even get decent production out of those two spots, and this still gives them the flexibility to let Smoak and Montero try and live up to their potential. Rather than flushing one of them down the drain, this gives the team more options. That’s good.

The problem is that swapping an average pitcher for an average hitter doesn’t really make the team any better, because they don’t have an average pitcher just hanging out waiting to step into Jason Vargas’ shoes. They already needed a starting pitcher to replace Blake Beavan, and now they need one to replace Vargas too. Since it’s already late December, a lot of the interesting starters are already off the board, so moving Vargas increases the chances the team goes into 2013 with a guy like Beavan or Paxton as one of the starting five, and there’s no reason to think that either of them are likely to be any good next year. So, the M’s upgraded at 1B/DH by about the same amount that they downgraded as SP.

They have better SP prospects than 1B/DH prospects, and it’s probably easier to sign an SP to play in Safeco than to sign a hitter to play in Safeco, so it’s a trade worth making. Plus, this will hopefully calm the legion of fans who don’t understand that there’s more to winning baseball than home runs, so that’s a nice side benefit. I think this is a nice little deal for the Mariners, but I’m not sure it actually makes them better just yet. It gives them a better chance to improve, if they go sign a pitcher to replace Vargas, but if they just hand Beavan a rotation spot, then this is probably a neutral trade from a wins perspective.

In the long term, this trade probably doesn’t matter too terribly much. If Morales has a great year, he might not be worth re-signing as a free agent next year, since his skillset is usually overvalued in free agency. If doesn’t have a great year, the Mariners might not want him back. I wouldn’t be shocked if this turned into a one year rental. But Vargas was probably a one year rental too, so, yeah.

This helps the Angels more than it helps the Mariners, but it probably helps the Mariners a bit too. Especially if they go sign a couple of starting pitchers. Let’s hope they do that too.

Comments

64 Responses to “Mariners Swap Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales”

  1. Jay R. on December 19th, 2012 2:50 pm

    Seems like the right kind of move. Nice to see some action during a pretty quiet (and so far disappointing) offseason. Obviously still plenty of work to do. Any chance they can (or will) add the 2-3M they are saving here to a deal with Bourn?

  2. eternal on December 19th, 2012 2:51 pm

    it buys them 3 million more of salary room too, right? Hopefully that is used for you know, player salary.

  3. ndevale on December 19th, 2012 2:52 pm

    Wow! I saw the mlbtr post about the angels looking for innings eater and actually thought vargas! and then it happened! that just doesnt happen.
    I like it. I think Morales helps the offense. It is not enough, but it helps. And I think they will go get pitching. I hope so. Edwin Jackson, hopefully, and some reclamation project or two. But I think this helps.

  4. shortbus on December 19th, 2012 2:54 pm

    I’ve been hoping the team would swap Vargas for something useful since they announced the fences were coming in. His numbers away from Safeco aren’t good so he could be a below-average pitcher next year with his security blanket gone.

    Morales was somehow qualified for left field in fantasy last year so I’d hoped he might able to handle some starts there…sounds like that won’t happen. So instead of signing a backup-catcher type, the team now may look to sign one more Millwood-type pitcher that can be shed if Hultzen/Paxton/Maurer push for time in the bigs. Here’s hoping they can woo two of Marcum, Jackson, and Lohse.

    Overall I like the team better now than when I woke up.

  5. Slats on December 19th, 2012 2:54 pm

    Win-win for both teams.

  6. kazuc on December 19th, 2012 3:00 pm

    Moving slightly forward is at least better than moving backwards. Hopefully, though, there is another move coming, or else this is really just about saving $3 million while the team stays in place.

  7. nickwest1976 on December 19th, 2012 3:04 pm

    What about combining this deal with the signing of an Edwin Jackson type to replace Vargas in the rotation?

  8. Spideysage on December 19th, 2012 3:10 pm

    Shaun Marcum on a two-year deal? He has trouble staying healthy but has done pretty well in hitters’ parks.

  9. shortbus on December 19th, 2012 3:11 pm

    I mentioned Kyle Lohse above…but he’d cost a draft pick and I don’t think he’d be worth it as an aging pitcher with a career xFIP of 4.45. With his shiny 16-3 record and 2.86 ERA some team will pay him big money.

    How about Freddy Garcia or Derek Lowe? That would be…weird.

  10. MrZDevotee on December 19th, 2012 3:15 pm

    I guess I’m more optimistic about this leading to more wins than it costs…

    Meaning, add a little bit to NIL at least moves scoring towards the black, whereas taking a little bit away from something that’s pretty healthy (Mariner pitching as a whole, including minors) should theoretically leave less of a dent.

    Or think on a scale. If offense is a 1 on a scale of 10, adding 1 to it doubles the offensive potential… Whereas if pitching is a 9, taking 1 away (or 2 away) still leaves ample to work with.

    And if it’s an “everygame” guy versus a “30 games a year” guy, the opportunity for improvement presents itself more often, than the opportunity for a step back does.

    (Overly optimistic? Probably, but might make sense on some tiny island of reasoning… Somewhere… Maybe?)

    I think $$$’s-wise this also makes a move for Bourn seem more interesting…

  11. Gibbo on December 19th, 2012 3:18 pm

    Hey whats the chance that Morales actually bounces back some, he was a pretty good offensive threat there for a while but after a lengthy layoff I like him as a guy that could really thrive here.

    Nice move – maybe go get Edwin Jackson now and trade for Rick porcello from the tigers (some upside there) and still have money for another OF’er.

  12. MrZDevotee on December 19th, 2012 3:20 pm

    Another point I left out just above… Moving our run average from 3.xx a game to 4.xx-ish a game could be huge the way the Mariners play, so Morales and Bourn could play huge as a combination, though individually don’t seem like major moves.

    And like Gibbo said, there’s upside with Morales, for $4 million you’re getting a guy that was 5th in the MVP vote before getting injured.

  13. nickwest1976 on December 19th, 2012 3:21 pm

    Edwin Jackson is the guy I want. He’s been a 3-4 WAR guy for a few years now and has been incredibly durable. He’s going to cost money obviously but the M’s still have a good amount of payroll room to make a move like that.

    Heck, they could likely go get both Bourn and Edwin Jackson.

  14. Jordan on December 19th, 2012 3:22 pm

    I am surprised this swap actually happened but glad it did. Now that something has happened this off season, other pieces are sure to follow, right?

  15. shortbus on December 19th, 2012 3:22 pm

    Here’s some more optimism. Assuming that Morales’ comeback from injury diminished his performance earlier in the year, his late performance might be more predictive. Lo and behold his wRC+ for August and September was 148 and 125, respectively. It was really his power that came back during those months with ISO’s of .280 and .247. He hit 11 of his home runs and 15 of his doubles the last two months.

    If he returns to the form of 2009-10 this could be a great deal. I don’t think there’s much “upside” to Vargas like there is for Morales.

  16. Slats on December 19th, 2012 3:24 pm

    Morales: .292/.346/.558 career hitter at Safeco Field.

  17. WalterNeff on December 19th, 2012 3:29 pm

    Jack Z just said they have another offer on the table.

  18. Jordan on December 19th, 2012 3:32 pm

    ^^Do Trout ever migrate North?

  19. miscreant on December 19th, 2012 3:33 pm

    I feel like this trade improves the Angels more than the Mariners.

    The Angels got rid of an extra player and filled a hole in their rotation moving them one step towards an AL West title.

    The Mariners got rid of their #2.5 starting pitcher. They now have a huge hole in the rotation. This worries me because The Mariners have not been successful in bringing in starting pitchers. They have been great at sending starting pitchers away (Lee, Fister, Pineda) I hope that can change and they are able to sign a SP.

    That being said, I’m ok with getting Morales.

  20. Bremerton guy on December 19th, 2012 3:39 pm

    I like the trade but am going to miss Vargas. He’s a pretty gritty guy and for the most part you could depend on getting 6 or 7 innings out of him, if not more. And I got the impression from listening to him on interviews that he was pretty laid back. He probably could have hit better than half the position players on the team last year if they would have let him DH.

  21. shortbus on December 19th, 2012 3:42 pm

    I think you’re right about short-term player fit being better for the Angels. But there are a number of free agent pitchers available that should be better than either Beavan or Vargas are likely to be this season. Vargas is a back-of-the-rotation starter in most parks. Beavan is not a starter — he should be in long relief or something.

    I’m actually really excited that the M’s got this kind of return for Vargas. I guess the Angels just really needed to move Morales and Vargas was what they were looking for.

  22. Jordan on December 19th, 2012 3:42 pm

    Although this downgrades the rotation without additional signings and no obvious, immediate prospect ready to takeover, this adds financial and roster flexibility. The Mariners save money and can now hope that Smoak and/or Montero figures it out, while also being patient with Zunino.

    At face value it appears the Angels might come out ahead but this is the very definition of a win-win trade.

  23. FELIXisKING on December 19th, 2012 3:43 pm

    @Slate “Morales: .292/.346/.558 career hitter at Safeco Field.”

    That’s pretty sexy. Also just read on the MLB.com article that Morales hit 14 of his 23 homers last year in the final 45 games of the season. Which would obviously suggest that he was getting healthier and better as the year went on.

  24. wsm on December 19th, 2012 3:45 pm

    This deal makes me wonder if Montero is being made available. Walker/Montero/Paxton/Miller could be an interesting starting point toward Stanton.

  25. Spideysage on December 19th, 2012 3:56 pm

    “Walker/Montero/Paxton/Miller” as a starting point? Wow, I’d hate to see where the ending point would be.

  26. amnizu on December 19th, 2012 3:58 pm

    >If he returns to the form of 2009-10 this could be a great deal. I don’t think there’s much “upside” to Vargas like there is for Morales.

    Exactly… Morales has a much higher ceiling than Vargas. Factor in the pitching prospects in the M’s system, cost savings, and reduced pressure on Smoak / Montero / Jaso I think this overall is a good deal for the Mariners. If Morales gets back to around 3 WAR it becomes a great deal.

    Edit: Just noticed, Morales is also a Boras client so count on this being a 1 year rental. This could work out really well for the M’s if Morales has a “contract year”.

  27. Jon on December 19th, 2012 4:08 pm

    I guess I’m one of the dummies who thinks a team needs to hit homers to win games. Actually, I think scoring a lot of runs is helpful in that regard. As opposed to having more of the same historically bad offense that Jack Z has been running out there for the last three years. So, yes, adding Morales’ bat is a good move, particularly when it cost an average SP who is about to be even more overpaid (especially so for penny-pinchers like the M’s).

  28. daboyd on December 19th, 2012 4:09 pm

    Would the Dodgers be interested in making a trade? Andre Ethier is available for the right deal, and LA has a couple extra starting pitchers. Ethier/Capuano?

  29. bookbook on December 19th, 2012 4:09 pm

    Geoff Baker must be in heaven. (by the way, I’d like links to Baker and Divish on the sidebar here. I don’t agree with him, but it’s hard to deny he’s a part of the M’s scene for better or worse.)

  30. eponymous coward on December 19th, 2012 4:16 pm

    I like this because I feel pretty confident that Jack can find some decent pitching in the market more than a bat- though if Bourn came onto the roster and a pitcher…

  31. vetted_coach on December 19th, 2012 4:22 pm

    “More to winning…than hitting home runs…”

    Cheap shot. If that’s truly what you take away from cogent arguments against the M’s totally incompetent offense, you understand far less than I thought. More likely, it’s just sophomoric intellectual dishonesty.

    As for Morales, a pretty decent pick-up for a team desperate for credibility. It’s hard to imagine a hardened, experienced winning GM exchanging his #2 starter for Kendry Morales. Vargas “average?” Pathetically obtuse evaluation. Even you don’t really believe that.

  32. Typical Idiot Fan on December 19th, 2012 4:23 pm

    Caught me off guard, but, yeah it does make sense in retrospect. The Angels also manage to get away without having to trade Bourjos to free up an outfield spot, as they can just put Trumbo at DH where he belongs.

    While there aren’t a ton of “sexy” starting pitchers left out there, the Mariners have always been able to get away with a few undervalued guys being productive playing half their games at the Safe. Though the shorter fences should make life a bit more difficult for the extreme flyballers, it still behooves the Mariners to cater to their strength. Not EVERY flyball is going to leave the new shorter dimensions after all.

  33. tmac9311 on December 19th, 2012 4:25 pm

    I like this move a lot, I think Vargas is the better player and fills the bigger holes, but it allows the M’s to get a decent return for him, and i think there’s more out there for the M’s in starting pitching then there is in hitters in free agency, especially if we’re going for one year rentals that can be displaced for any of the kids if they become ready. using the 91M rumor with the 3M savings from this, seems reasonable we could get 2 one year rentals for like 8M each and try for someone like Cody Ross for 2/20M?

    The only thing that scares me about this is the frequency the GMZ seems to acquire these 1B/DH types. Seems bizarre he decided to trade away Morse.

  34. Dobbs on December 19th, 2012 4:38 pm

    Seems possible that Jack Z saw this upgrade available and preferred it rather than signing a FA and losing the 1st round pick.

    Plus, Morales may end up netting a compensation pick after this season as well.

  35. Bremerton guy on December 19th, 2012 4:39 pm

    “Seems bizarre he decided to trade away Morse.”

    For Ryan Langerhans!

  36. Celadus on December 19th, 2012 4:54 pm

    Jackson would be a good pickup but if he’s too expensive or doesn’t like Seattle, I agree that Porcello would be an excellent pickup.

    The Mariners have one of the better defensive infields and Porcello’s lifetime ground ball rate is 52.3%. Detroit supposedly wants to move one of Porcello and Smyly. Given that Smyly has much more upside, I’m guessing that Porcello will be the one they trade.

  37. Typical Idiot Fan on December 19th, 2012 4:55 pm

    Pitchers worth taking a flier on in free agency (alphabetical order):

    Erik Bedard
    Dallas Braden (see if he’s healed)
    Freddy Garcia
    Rich Harden
    Edwin Jackson
    Francisco Liriano
    Shawn Marcum
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    Roy Oswalt
    Joe Saunders
    Carlos Villanueva
    Randy Wolf
    Chris Young
    Carlos Zambrano

    Of those Oswalt, Jackson, and Marcum are the best bets to perform well. However, any of them should be expected to perform better than Beavan over a full season.

  38. terryoftacoma on December 19th, 2012 5:05 pm

    You can take Villaneuva off that list. He’s reportly signing with Cubs.

    We would also need to add two from that list for Beaven not to pitch in the five spot.

  39. gerrythek on December 19th, 2012 5:12 pm

    Like this trade. Agree with previous post that it’s easier to sign free agent pitchers into Safeco. BTW also agree with Bookbook – I too would like to see a link to Baker in the sidebar

  40. eric on December 19th, 2012 5:16 pm

    As you note getting free agent hitters to sign here is tough, so this seems like a good long term plan, sign league average pitchers who have the profile to put up better numbers in Safeco, like Vargas, after a year or two flip them in even trades for league average hitters.

  41. eponymous coward on December 19th, 2012 5:26 pm

    Vargas “average?” Pathetically obtuse evaluation.

    OK, fine.

    Jason Vargas is a younger version of Jarrod Washburn.

    The fact that Vargas was the putative #2 starter on this team is more an indictment of the rotation not being all that good behind Felix, disguised by Safeco’s run-suppressing environment.

  42. amnizu on December 19th, 2012 5:38 pm

    >Vargas “average?” Pathetically obtuse evaluation. Even you don’t really believe that.

    Vargas is average. His best (2010) season of 2.4 WAR is just a little above league average. He has performed better than his pay grade for sure, but in terms of MLB performance against his peers. He is a league average starting pitcher.

  43. JasonJ on December 19th, 2012 5:42 pm

    It’s a sensible move and low risk. However, it seems to create a dilemma because JZ isn’t willing to lose the #12 pick but he’s now opened up another hole in his roster since we already had a 1B/DH before this move (we just have a better 1b/DH now). Will be interesting to see how he plugs these holes with (hopefully) major league caliber players while not losing that pick.

    Overall I like the move, especially if Montero continues to get a run at catcher, since there will be lots of opportunities to maximize platoon splits with Smoak/Jaso/Montero while getting Morales the bulk of the playing time at 1B/DH.

  44. stevemotivateir on December 19th, 2012 6:03 pm

    I’m surprised so many people are comfortable with this. I hate the fact that this move gives the Angels exactly what they need, while we remain several pieces away, including an outfielder (STILL), and now two starters.

    These might be moot points if Jack finds a couple starters and signs Swisher (and it helps that attracting pitchers hasn’t been a problem), but for now, I’m not terribly excited about this.

  45. Gibbo on December 19th, 2012 6:18 pm

    Steve – you have to give up something to get something and as you go on to mention SP’ing seems easier for the M’s to get. This move has a lot of upside for us but you are right we are still several pieces away.

    I guess Carp might as well be packing his bags too, no options left and no where to play.

  46. Gibbo on December 19th, 2012 6:32 pm

    I would actually like to see if we could nab Josh Willingham as well – Would the Twins take Beavan and say another low cost mid type arm and get that done too, althoguh coming off a big year his price mightbe a bit inflated.

  47. Westside guy on December 19th, 2012 6:46 pm

    Away from Safeco, Vargas wasn’t even close to being the same pitcher as he is at home (in 2012 anyway; didn’t check further back). With this move it seems like Jack got decent value back for someone of Vargas’ caliber.

    I like Vargas, but Z seems able to find pitchers easier than he’s been able to locate batters.

  48. terryoftacoma on December 19th, 2012 7:12 pm

    This is a good trade for both clubs in the short term. Adding a pitcher shouldn’t be that hard, even if it’s a Millwood type again.

    The reluctance to give up our #12 and the reluctance of the big names to sign here, should end the Swisher/Bourn chatter. It won’ t until they sign somewhere else but it should. Both Swisher and Bourn would cost a our draft choice. A Ross, Raborn or Sizamore wouldn’t and just might be the way we go unless we trade for someone.

    There are questions that we don’t currently have answers for. Like how will bringing the fences in effect the offense? the pitching? We do not know.

  49. shortbus on December 19th, 2012 7:13 pm

    Westside guy is right. Vargas WAS league-average before the fences got moved in. That means he probably would be below-average going forward. I’ve wanted to see him traded since the day the fence move was announced, so I’m really pleased with this deal.

    I’m probably more positive about this deal because I have a feeling the fence move will have a bigger impact than people think. That left-field porch just got a lot shorter horizontally AND vertically. Jose Lopez probably still hasn’t stopped crying since it was announced.

  50. ck on December 19th, 2012 7:25 pm

    Now the M’s need a MLB ready SP to replace Vargas. Will they also get a defensive catcher?
    The 25 Man is crowded already, will Jack Z make another trade soon? Is Gutierrez-Saunders-Bay-Wells the Opening Day outfield?

  51. Westside guy on December 19th, 2012 7:25 pm

    I was just saying the same thing you and others already said, shortbus.

    And my iPad keeps wanting to autocorrect your username to “short us”.

  52. dmanjam on December 19th, 2012 7:28 pm

    Maybe we can corner the DH market and make another deal when our record is 45-59 for another prospect. Another horrific trade, at least it will be fun seeing Vargas get doused with champagne in October.

  53. greentunic on December 19th, 2012 7:42 pm

    Plus, Morales may end up netting a compensation pick after this season as well.

    Is this true? I remember hearing the new CBA prohibits newly traded rentals from netting their new teams compensation picks.

    Or was that only if they are traded mid season??

  54. vertigoman on December 19th, 2012 8:17 pm

    The Angels have replaced Grienke and Morales with Vargas and Hamilton. Are they better or worse?
    Probably something like a push overall but they’re spending 33+ next year on those two players for the privilege of not improving.
    I like this trade. Morales was miscast with the Angels. He’s not a Scioscia type player. His worst suit is his baserunning and Scioscia doesn’t exactly play to a player’s strengths. As long as Wedge isn’t asking Morales to stretch a double into a triple or “test” the OFers arm on a regular basis much of Morales’ weaknesses could be mitigated.

  55. terryoftacoma on December 19th, 2012 8:18 pm

    That’s only if traded during the season.

    Actually they replace Greinke, Morales and Hunter with Vargas and Hamilton. Not much of an upgrade if you ask me.

  56. californiamariner on December 19th, 2012 9:05 pm

    Angels also lost Haren, Santana, and Walden and got Tommy Hansen, Joe Blanton, and Sean Burnett. They are still good, but I wouldn’t necessarily say better than last year.

  57. californiamariner on December 19th, 2012 9:16 pm

    I’ve been wondering.. am I the only one that thinks the Angels are crazy for playing Bourjos in center over Trout?

  58. Typical Idiot Fan on December 19th, 2012 10:24 pm

    I too would like to see a link to Baker in the sidebar

    You people really don’t know shit, do you?

    Anyway…

    I’ve been wondering.. am I the only one that thinks the Angels are crazy for playing Bourjos in center over Trout?

    You think THAT’S crazy, check out who their regular left fielder was last year. Bourjos is probably a better CFer than Trout, but it’s not by a huge margin. Trout is going to be awesome regardless of which OF position he’s playing.

  59. stevemotivateir on December 20th, 2012 5:01 am

    “Steve – you have to give up something to get something and as you go on to mention SP’ing seems easier for the M’s to get.”

    Yeah, no kidding, but aiding a division rival to do so? Think the Angels are threatened with Morales being in a Mariners uniform?

  60. MissouriMariner on December 20th, 2012 6:32 am

    I really don’t have a problem with this trade but I’m really stumped trying to figure Z out this offseason….I guess we are just hoping that Morales and Bay can rekindle 2009……who else is available that was good in 09???

  61. Plim on December 20th, 2012 10:01 am

    LOL at the people questioning if the Angels are better. Their pen is a world better and the guys they dumped, Haren, Santana, Izturis, Hawkins, Walden, were all horrible for them last year. Hunter had a great season but its not often that players coming off a career year at age 37 repeat their performances so yes.. Hamilton is a huge upgrade. Grienke is their big loss but he was only there for two months.

    Why can’t we just be happy we got better instead of trying to pretend the Angels arent better than they were.

  62. Plim on December 20th, 2012 10:04 am

    Morales posted a 120 OPS last year, he doesn’t need to repeat his 2009, he’s already the best full time bat on the roster.

  63. Typical Idiot Fan on December 20th, 2012 1:59 pm

    Yeah, no kidding, but aiding a division rival to do so?

    We’re still talking about Jason Vargas, right?

    Look, as much as this was a lateral move for the Mariners, it was a lateral move for the Angels. They don’t get better losing Morales and gaining Vargas. You could argue they also receive the benefit of not having Trumbo in the outfield, but the Mariners also benefit by not having Vargas’ effectiveness reduced by SafeCo’s new dimensions. It’s a wash, really.

    Of the two players, tho, Morales has the better chance of being an above league average player. Vargas would have to drastically change in order to be more valuable than history has shown; Morales just has to be healthy.

    Think the Angels are threatened with Morales being in a Mariners uniform?

    Because Vargas with a halo is the apocalypse, or something.

    Why can’t we just be happy we got better instead of trying to pretend the Angels arent better than they were.

    Because they aren’t? Hamilton is an upgrade over Hunter, but only by a couple of wins (unless he goes berserk on the league again); they lose a couple for Morales and get a couple back for Vargas; and lose Greinke and Haren and gain Hunter and Blanton.

    Assuming everything would go as predicted, the team is just about the same as it was last season in terms of wins.

  64. stevemotivateir on December 23rd, 2012 6:01 pm

    “Look, as much as this was a lateral move for the Mariners, it was a lateral move for the Angels. They don’t get better losing Morales and gaining Vargas.”

    Yeah, you missed the point. Seattle doesn’t have a surplus of ML-ready arms to replace Vargas. The Angels have plenty of options with bats, so no, they don’t offset.

    “Vargas would have to drastically change in order to be more valuable than history has shown”

    You mean, like what his splits show at Angels Stadium? He’s been great there.

    You may not be that big on Vargas, but he’s put up good numbers at Safeco AND Angels Stadium. This move addressed their one need, while we still remain short. That was the added point about the Morales not threatening the Angels being in a Mariners uniform. It will take more than Morales.

    “Hamilton is an upgrade over Hunter, but only by a couple of wins (unless he goes berserk on the league again)”

    Yeah, try looking at the WAR for Hunter and Hamilton again. Hunter was worth more last year.

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