Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mariners Land Kendrys Morales via Trade for Jason Vargas

The Mariners search for some offense has led them to Kendrys Morales. After Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels last week, the Angels had too many outfielders and were looking to part with Peter Bourjos or Morales. Obviously the Mariners took advantage of the situation by taking off some dead weight from the Angels and in return, the Mariners are sending the Angels Jason Vargas.

Kendrys Morales, the same guy that killed the Mariners on way too many occasions. The same Morales that hit a walk off grand slam against the Mariners and fractured his leg in celebration stomping on home plate.
Now, a healthy Morales will be coming to Seattle as a very welcomed and needed offensive weapon. Last year, Morales hit just .273 in 134 games for the Angels but has a career batting average of .281. Morales hit 22 homers last year and in 2009 (his last full season) he hit 34 bombs. If Morales can stay healthy, this will go a long way to help the Mariners, if he can maintain consistency.

Jason Vargas was a back of the rotation starter that had used Safeco Field and good timing to work his way up to the number two spot in the Mariners rotation. He excelled last year but did have a little trouble giving up the long ball and that kept contending teams from wanting to make a deal for him last year. Now, with Safeco Field being revamped, I think the Mariners made a smart decision in parting ways and picking up some offense at the same time. Jason Vargas is a great guy and a great teammate and I'm sure he will be missed in the clubhouse, but the Mariners did well not giving up a top rated prospect for Morales.

The risks in this deal is that the Mariners don't have anyone to protect Kendrys in the batting order. With the fences being brought in at Safeco Field, things could go either way. Some of our young guys could start to tear the cover off the ball and Morales would simply follow suit. If not, asking Morales to carry this team with his bat would be a daunting task. Either way, I think that the Mariners are better off with him than without him.

Another positive in this whole situation is that it could leave Seattle with a need to bring up one of their highly touted prospects to add to the rotation this year. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are at the top of the rotation and we still have questions about Erasmo Ramirez and Blake Beavan. It has been rumored that the Mariners front office is looking for a veteran pitcher to add to the mix as well. I'm thinking of a guy like Freddy Garcia. Former Mariner and friend/idol of Felix Hernandez. With Vargas out of the mix, it may be necessary to bring at least one guy up and that person would most likely be Brandon Maurer.

All in all, I think that this is a tremendous move by the Mariners. I don't think it's an end all and I truly believe that with this move there are more moves to come. That's the scary part. Although, adding via trade is the most likely scenario unless we see Michael Bourn come this way.

Nobody's saying that we are going to win the West with this trade, but this deal will definitely put some more runs on the board. Everybody should be happy about that.

We just have to keep Morales from jumping. EVER!