The Angels have traded first baseman Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Jason Vargas, a move that deepens the Angels' rotation and opens up a spot for speedy center fielder Peter Bourjos.
Morales, who is one year away from becoming a free agent, spent most of 2012 as the team’s designated hitter, batting .273 with 22 home runs and 73 runs batted in. He is projected to make $4.8 million this season, his final year of arbitration.
Vargas, 29, who played at Long Beach State with Angels ace Jered Weaver, went 14-11 with a 3.85 earned run average in 33 starts for the Mariners last season, striking out 141 and walking 55 in 217 1/3 innings. He is projected to make $7.4 million in 2013, his final year of arbitration.
Bourjos was in danger of a demotion to the bench—or being traded—when the Angels signed outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125-million deal last week. Hamilton was expected to take over in left field, with Mike Trout remaining in center and slugger Mark Trumbo playing right.