Despite the free-agent frustrations that have plagued the Seattle Mariners this offseason, GM Jack Zduriencik has found a way to add another bat to his roster via trade.
As reported by Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat writer Alden Gonzalez, the Mariners have agreed to swap DH Kendrys Morales for starting pitcher Jason Vargas:
While this trade also benefits the Angels immensely, as they now have room in the lineup to play Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Josh Hamilton, all while bolstering their rotation, it should also be considered a win for the Ms.
Not only have the Mariners acquired a legitimate bat, but they also gain a few million dollars in payroll flexibility thanks to the exchange. Alden Gonzalez also points out the salary ramifications of the pending agreement:
With both players being free agents after the 2013 season, neither team loses a whole lot of control over the players involved in the trade.
In picking up Morales, the Mariners' offense gets a boost and now has a player who can really hit.
Even in 2012, a season in which Morales was returning from a lengthy injury, he managed to hit .273, post an OPS of nearly .800 and mash 22 home runs.
In his career year of 2009, Morales had an OPS of over .920, a batting average of .306, totalled 108 RBI, and belted 34 home runs.
There is no denying that the guy can hit.
Now the question becomes, can the Ms reach an agreement to extend the switch-hitting DH?
Should they be able to sign Morales for a few more seasons, Seattle would be able to focus on signing another prominent bat after the 2013 season to complete their lineup.
With pitching prospects Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton all just about ready to make the jump to the show, Morales could end up being the first step towards building a winning team in the Pacific Northwest.