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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Angels trade Kendrys Morales to Mariners for Jason Vargas

Offensively, the Mariners appear to have replaced Justin Smoak.

Really? Coulda fooled me…

There’s really not a lot I can say about this trade. Vargas is the guy who would probably be most hurt by the change in dimensions in Seattle, and the Mariners have a lot of arms who will be ready soon if not now. Morales had no real role in Anaheim and certainly is better than what the Mariners had as options there. It doesn’t really hurt either team and probably doesn’t help either team much.

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:33 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: la angels, seattle

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   1. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4328974)
I know I tend to underrate innings eaters like Vargas, but that doesn't seem like much for Morales. He can hit. Although now that he's in Seattle, I guess we'll never hear from him again.
   2. RJ in TO Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4328976)
The Angels rotation last year was Wilson, Weaver, Santana (gone), Haren (gone), Greinke (gone). I can see why they'd want to add someone like Vargas, given that they don't really have a place for him in the lineup.
   3. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4328979)
Vargas for Morales is pretty fair actually. Vargas will like pitching in LA with Trout and Bourjos chasing down fly balls. Kendrys had a great 2nd Half after returning from an 18 month layoff from the broken ankle. He is likely to be very productive.

Both are FA's after 2013 - so it's a bit of a wash, but LA needed another starter they could count on because Blanton/Hanson could really, really suck.

I hate seeing Morales go, but this guarantees a full season of Bourjos - so I'm happy as all get out about that.

Lastly, how much does Trumbo have to suck to get traded. That guy looked AWFUL in the 2nd half.
   4. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4328985)
It doesn’t really hurt either team and probably doesn’t help either team much.


Really? Vargas should be a nice upgrade over whoever would be the last guy in the Angels' rotation, and Morales becomes the best hitter on the Mariners. Neither player is going to be leading the league in WAR or anything, but both are likely to provide average to slightly above average seasons at positions where each team would otherwise have a gaping hole. Seems like each team is likely to gain a win or two from this move.
   5. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4328987)
I hate seeing Morales go, but this guarantees a full season of Bourjos - so I'm happy as all get out about that.

Have this discussion with Angels fans all the time, but I just don't get this. Bourjos has his uses as a superior defensive centerfielder, but if you already have one of those (Trout) it seems like a waste. Who gives a crap about left field defense? Weird.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4328990)
Bourjos was also a plus offensive player (116 OPS+) in 2011. If he hits anywhere near that with his defense, he's extremely valuable.

Also, his defense is absolutely ####### ridiculous to watch, based only on entertainment value.
   7. asinwreck Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4328994)
Curious to see if the Mariners have interest in extending Morales beyond this season. They have control over Zunino, Montero and Smoak for several years, with Zunino likely to keep Montero at either 1B or DH. Smoak may never hit, and Morales has demonstrated his ability to hit with power after coming back from the ankle injury. Do the Mariners make a commitment either way before October?
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4328995)
Who gives a crap about left field defense? Weird.
There's not much evidence of diminishing returns from OF defense. The large majority of difficult balls that a better left fielder gets to and a worse left fielder doesn't won't be fielded even by a superlative CF.
   9. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4329011)
Since I don't care about the Angels either way, I'd like to see them try a two-outfielder, five-infielder defense.
   10. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4329012)
#5 - Watch Bourjos throw and watch Trout throw. One is a true center fielder the other is a bit less than a true CF'er. Trout's arm plays much better in LF.

If that keeps Trout from crashing into walls, I'm for it for that reason too.
   11. bookbook Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4329017)
The M's best not be doing any post victory celebrating, or half their line up will be out with injuries. Seriously, does a move like this make the M's more attractive to Swisher? Edwin Jackson? Bourn? anyone?
   12. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4329020)
So the rotation is now Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson, Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas. Weaver is perennial Cy Young candidate but Vargas was average in a pitcher's park, Blanton hasn't been average for three years, and Tommy Hanson's shoulder is supposedly toast. A lot of the Angels' playoff aspirations may depend on which CJ Wilson shows up in 2013.
   13. Al Kaline Trio Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4329023)
26 HR's in 118 IP on the road last year for Vargas. Yowsa!
   14. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4329024)
Wow. I hadn't looked at that split #13. Yikes.
   15. OCF Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4329027)
Vargas has been a teammate of Jered Weaver before - in college. The year I was paying the most attention, Weaver was the Friday pitcher (which is the #1 spot, the glamor spot), while Vargas was the Sunday pitcher - #3 in the rotation. Vargas was also the full-time DH, and was the best hitter on that Long Beach State team - a better hitter than Troy Tulowitski that year.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4329033)
This has been mentioned a lot, but the Mariners park factors are really something. This year they had two hitters with OPS+ of 110 in a full season of play. "Wait a minute," you say, "I don't remember any Mariners hitting well this year." That's because in SafecoLand, a line of .259/.316/.423 (Kyle Seager) or .247/.306/.432 (Michael Saunders) is extrapolated to conclude that you are a WELL above average hitter.

John Jaso only started 83 games but hit .276/.394/.456. Impressive. In fact, that gets him an OPS+ of 144. Holy cats! (Incidentally, he's still on the team, so maybe Smoak won't play at all?)

This puts into perspective how awful the stats are for their OTHER players. Of 17 hitters with more than 100 at-bats, 11 batted under .230.

Justin Smoak - OPS .654, OPS+ 87
Alexei Ramirez - OPS .651, OPS+ 74
Michael Young OPS .682, OPS+ 78
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4329036)
They have two hitters with OPS+ of 110 in a full season of play. "Wait a minute," you say, "I don't remember any Mariners hitting well this year." That's because in SafecoLand, a line of .259/.316/.423 (Kyle Seager) or .247/.306/.432 (Michael Saunders) is extrapolated to conclude that you are a WELL above average hitter.
This is mostly just the new offensive environment in baseball. In a neutral park in the AL, Seager and Saunders would have OPS+ of approximately 102 and 101, respectively.
   18. stratosaur Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4329039)
Vargas, career on the road, .279/.336/.473. That is ugly. Morales was something the Halos still needed, a lefty (as a switch hitter) bat. Any SOM /DMB/PtP player could tell you that. That's why I liked the Hamilton signing. This trade sucks......
   19. madvillain Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4329052)
This is mostly just the new offensive environment in baseball. In a neutral park in the AL, Seager and Saunders would have OPS+ of approximately 102 and 101, respectively.


Exactly, the Mariners have a bunch of shitty hitters. Yea, it was a cold damp spring in the PNW and yea, the fences are pretty far away, but it's not the platonic opposite of Coors field.
   20. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4329073)
I think I like this trade better for the Angels - they are in a position to win in 2013, and having an innings-eater that'll keep them in ballgames at the back of the rotation is valuable.

Kendry can hit, and the M's need hitting...but they are not going anywhere in 2013, anyway, and then Morales can walk away. From the M's perspective, I guess I'd rather have seen them trade Vargas for a guy they'd control for at least a couple of years.

Maybe they can sign Morales to a two-year extension at short money before the 2013 season begins...
   21. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4329075)
Mariners should trade Morales to the Orioles for a guy like Arrieta.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4329128)
They have two hitters with OPS+ of 110 in a full season of play. "Wait a minute," you say, "I don't remember any Mariners hitting well this year." That's because in SafecoLand, a line of .259/.316/.423 (Kyle Seager) or .247/.306/.432 (Michael Saunders) is extrapolated to conclude that you are a WELL above average hitter.

This is mostly just the new offensive environment in baseball. In a neutral park in the AL, Seager and Saunders would have OPS+ of approximately 102 and 101, respectively.

Or 108.5 and 107.5 in Anaheim (310/397 are the lg numbers there). Which means I'm not sure it will be a massive adjustment for Vargas either.

Because of the injury and the late start, Morales is a bit of a pig in a poke. 200 PA, an entire missed year, 500 PA is not a lot of recent performance to go on. Although a switch-hitter, he was heavily platooned last year (just 70 PA vs LHP) -- no heavy split last year but there is one for his career. And, although the backstory explains some of the late start, he still couldn't establish himself until age 26 and late bloomers are usually early faders. In short, I'm not sure he's any better than average if he's a full-timer.

   23. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4329171)
Mariners should trade Morales to the Orioles for a guy like Arrieta.

Yes but the Orioles should just put Arrieta in their rotation. If they want a DH, they can put the full court press on Lance Berkman. Even Betemit and Reimold can probably handle the job until midseason.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:49 AM (#4329176)
I watched both of Vargas' two starts for the Mets. There’s literally nothing he can do to convince me that he's a good pitcher.
   25.     Hey Gurl Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:53 AM (#4329177)
Having had Vargas on my fantasy team in 2012, it became obvious fairly quickly I could do well for myself by only playing Vargas when he's at Safeco.

This is one of those trades where just, looking at the names and relying on my (crappy) memory and not looking at any stats, seems ridiculous. Isn't Morales really good? And didn't Vargas give up about a thousand taters last year?
   26. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4329202)
#18 - Ironically, Vargas' road line is very similar to Morales' career splits of .281/.331/.491, and damn near identical to what he did this past season. Oof. Good trade for the M's.
   27. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4329272)
Yes but the Orioles should just put Arrieta in their rotation. If they want a DH, they can put the full court press on Lance Berkman. Even Betemit and Reimold can probably handle the job until midseason.

Arrieta is blocked at this point by several other guys and will probably start in the bullpen. But he still has upside.

OTOH, my earlier suggestion was premised on the idea that Morales could be Betemit's platoon partner at DH and occasionally play 1b. I didn't realize his numbers against lefties were so bad.

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