Mariners trade LHP Vargas to Angels for 1B-DH Morales

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SEATTLE - The Seattle Mariniers have acquired first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales, 29, from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas.

 

“We have been focused on adding offense this off-season, and feel that Kendrys will be a middle-of-the-order bat for us. He’s a switch-hitter with power who has played, and hit, in the AL West,” Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik said. “He’s familiar with the teams and parks and is a proven run-producer. We hate to part with Jason, and really appreciate everything he’s done for us, but we are in a situation where we had to give up talent to acquire talent.”

 

After a career-best season in 2009 in which he recorded 43 doubles, 34 home runs, 108 RBI and finished 5th in the American League MVP voting, Morales was limited to 51 games in 2010 and missed the entire 2011 season. He suffered a fractured lower left leg following his walk-off grand slam May 29, 2010 vs. the Mariners. At the time of his season-ending surgery, Morales ranked amongst the American League leaders batting .290 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI.

 

“Kendrys gives us a veteran presence and a proven, middle-of-the-order bat, with power from both sides of the plate,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. “Adding him to our line-up immediately makes us a better offensive club.”

 

Vargas led Seattle in wins last season, going 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA. The 29-year-old is 36-42 with a 4.09 ERA in four years with the Mariners.

 

Morales and Vargas each are eligible salary arbitration and can become free agents after next season.

 

The trade was announced Wednesday.