Kendrys Morales vs. Jason Vargas: Did Angels or Mariners Get Most Value in Trade

Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2012

Who got most value in the trade—the Mariners or the Angels?
Who got most value in the trade—the Mariners or the Angels?Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners pulled off a trade yesterday that sent first baseman/outfielder Kendrys Morales to the Mariners in exchange for starting pitcher Jason Vargas.

Morales, who will most likely be the Mariners' full-time first baseman in 2013, batted .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI (in 134 games) in 2012.  When healthy, he's proven to be extremely productive, batting .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI in 2009.

Jason Vargas, who had an ERA of 3.85 in 217.1 innings in 2012, finished the season with a 14-11 record.  He's also pitched 200-plus innings for Seattle the last two seasons, giving the Angels another innings-eater to add to a staff led by Jared Weaver, C.J. Wilson and newly-acquired pitchers Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton.

But did this trade benefit or make either club better?  

I would have to say that this move has advanced both team's agendas going into the 2013 season.  

As you may remember, the Mariners were in hot pursuit of Texas slugger Josh Hamilton this offseason.  After losing out on him to the Angels, Seattle now has a switch-hitting offensive threat with Morales in the lineup.  

The question is, will he DH or play first for the Halos next season?  Also, what does this do, and how will it affect current first baseman Justin Smoak?  

No matter which way you look at it, the addition of Morales will definitely improve Seattle's offense next year.  

The Angels, on the other hand, have now added another versatile left-hander to their starting rotation.  

With a solid fastball and good slider, Vargas (who turns 30 in February) has the ability to attack the strike zone and throw strikes—though he ranked second in all of Major League Baseball last season with 35 home runs allowed.  

On paper, the Angels look to have good depth in their starting rotation.  However, C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton have all dealt with their fair share of injuries.  

With Vargas coming to a team with an offense that's much more equipped than the Mariners, his versatility already appears to be a huge asset for the Halos looking in to the future.

In theory, this trade looks to benefit both teams involved.  I guess only time will tell who really came out on top.

What do you think?  Who got the best of this trade, the Angels or the Mariners?