SEATTLE -- The Los Angeles Angels have traded power hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Jason Vargas.
The 29-year-old Morales became expendable after the Angels agreed to a deal last week with free agent slugger Josh Hamilton. The Angels had been looking for a pitcher after losing Zack Greinke and Dan Haren to free agency and trading Ervin Santana.
“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,” said Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik. “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.”
Morales hit .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBIs last season. He missed the entire 2011 season after breaking his leg early in 2010 while celebrating a game-ending grand slam against the Mariners.
“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 are both eligible for salary arbitration and can become free agents after next season.