The Angels traded first baseman Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners… (Elaine Thompson / Associated…)
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.
But with the departure of the switch-hitting Morales, Trumbo and Hamilton can split time between right field and DH; Bourjos, a superb defender, can play plenty of center field; and Trout can split time between left and center.
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