ANAHEIM, CA – The Angels Wednesday acquired left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for infielder Kendrys Morales. Today’s transaction was announced by General Manager Jerry Dipoto.
Vargas, 29, finished the 2012 season with a 14-11 record with a 3.85 ERA (217.1 IP – 93 ER) and 141 strikeouts. The left-hander led the Mariner staff in wins and quality starts (22) while setting career highs in wins, starts, innings pitched and strikeouts. The Southern California native finished amongst the American League leaders in starts (T4th), quality starts (4th), innings pitched (6th), WHIP (1.178, 10th) and complete games (2, T10th).
A former teammate of Jered Weaver at California State University Long Beach, Vargas has compiled a 42-50 record with a 4.35 ERA (829.2 IP – 401 ER) over parts of seven big league seasons with Florida, New York Mets and Mariners. Throughout seven career appearances (6 starts) at Angel Stadium, Vargas has posted a 3-1 record to accompany a 2.27 ERA (43.2 IP – 11 ER). The 2.27 ERA at the Big A since the start of the ’09 campaign ranks fourth (min. 5 starts), trailing only Bartolo Colon (2.14), Trevor Cahill (2.25) and Jered Weaver (2.26). The left-hander was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft.
Morales, 29, has played his entire career with the Angels, batting .281 (455/1620) with 79 home runs and 265 RBI across six big league seasons. The Cuban native was the Angels’ Team MVP in 2009 setting club records by a switch-hitter with 34 home runs and 322 total bases, while finishing fifth in A.L. MVP voting. Morales was limited to 51 games in 2010 and missed the entire 2011 season after suffering a fractured lower left leg following his walk-off grand slam on May 29, 2010 vs. Seattle. In his return to full time action in 2012, he batted .273 (132/484) with 22 home runs and 73 RBI in 134 games.