The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim traded away 1B/DH Kendrys Morales yesterday. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Jason Vargas.
The Rays have had a very busy off season so far; why didn’t they make a move on Morales?
The Rays lost BJ Upton to the Atlanta Braves and it is still unknown if newly-acquired Wil Myers will make an immediate impact. Morales could have been the impact bat to replace Upton, immediately. Morales broke onto the scene in 2009 when he finished fifth in the MVP vote, totaling a .308 AVE, 34 HR, and 108 RBI. As many remember he was injured in 2010 during a walk-off home run celebration gone bad. He spent the 2011 season recovering from the knee injury before returning to the Angels in 2012. He missed 28 games in 2012 but was still productive; .273 AVE, 22HR, and 73 RBI.
Morales could have been an option to split time with James Loney at first base or serve as the everyday designated hitter.
Vargas is coming off of a career high 14-win season where he posted a 3.85 ERA but that was at the very pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. Prior to 2012 Vargas had never won more than 10 games in a season. He was 33-36 with a 3.96 ERA over the last three seasons. A good ERA for a starter but remember it is almost certain to rise in Los Angeles.
The Rays have a lot of young pitching talent and it seems that this may have been a missed opportunity to improve the offense at a cheap cost. However, if the Angels wanted a starter with substantial MLB experience, the Rays may not have been a match for the Angels anyway.