Mariners fans are all too familiar with one-sided trades. The team’s trade decisions have screwed them over more than a couple of times in the last decade.
The Bedard-Jones trade? The Cliff Lee-Smaok etc. trade? The recent emergence of the failed Doug Fister-Casper Wells/Charlie Furbush trade?
But this offseason the Mariners made three significant trades to change the complexion of the team. The Mariners traded away middling prospect Trayvon Robinson for the super utility infielder Robert Andino from the Orioles. This has been an unmitigated disaster for the M’s thus far. But thankfully it hasn’t been a cover all success for the Orioles either.
The Mariners, in a three-way deal, traded away fan-favorite John Jaso to the Athletics to get their hands on Michael Morse (through the Washington Nationals), a one time lanky Mariners outfield prospect who is now monstrous with serious power. Morse is tied for the team lead in home runs, but he has been sporadically in and out of the lineup with minor injuries, making this trade a wash at this point in the season.
During the offseason the Mariners were under the impressive that we had an excess of starting pitching (we know now that that was not the case), and elected to trade away mid-rotation starter Jason Vargas to the Angels in exchange for Kendrys Morales, the guy who broke his ankle celebrating a walk off slam against the Mariners in 2010. The Mariners needed power and the Angels needed pitching. And so the trade happened.
Just over two months into the season, this trade has been a Win-Win for both teams. Though both teams are struggling to find their footing so far this season, Vargas and Morales haven’t had the same problems.
Morales leads the Mariners in RBIs and batting average. I’ve already talked extensively about Morales’ value to the team, and why he has been such an asset for the Mariners so far this season. He continues to look like the guy who finished 5th in the AL-MVP voting in 2009.
Vargas leads the Angels in wins, yes WINS. He has five, where Jerome Williams and C.J. Wilson only have four. Weaver would also be in that mix if he hadn’t been injured for so much of the season.
Vargas is sitting with a 5-3 record through 11 starts, with 48 strikeouts and 26 walks. He has a palatable 3.34 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He has been a pitching bright spot for the Angels in a season where pitching has been their Achilles heel.
Both of these players, Morales and Vargas, have been pleasant surprises for the Mariners and Angels, respectively. Each team has gotten what they needed from the trade– at least for the first two months of the season.
And as a fan of baseball, Win-Win trades always make you smile just a little bit bigger.
Even if the other team is a major division rival.