The Mariners were able to move starting rotation mainstay Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales yesterday afternoon. While it's surprising to see an inter-divisional trade, it's easy to see how Vargas met Los Angeles's needs for an innings eater in the back of the rotation. While it is unclear whether leaving old SafeCo field will benefit Vargas, it's important to remember that Seattle has moved their fences in, which may have been bad news for the fly-ball pitcher.
Both players had only one year remaining, which contributed to the even swap.
Of course, the acquisition of Morales also means Seattle has four position players in (including John Jaso, Jesus Montero, and Justin Smoak) vying for everyday playing time between C, 1B and DH. But before Rays fans get too excited about a Jesus Montero trade, consider that this apparent logjam may not really exist. For more, see Dave Cameron's theoretical explanation of how the pieces fit.
- Wade Boggs made an appearance on the Oklahoma City Thunder jumbo-tron last Tuesday, and decided to showcase his hidden talent... (Click to make him dance!)
(via Deadspin, which has the video as well)
- Wil Myers took his first batting practice as a Durham Bull.
- At least one of the Rays has been able to find a new home in Tampa Bay. Rays president Matt Silverman purchased a mansion in St. Pete this month, a mere 5 miles from the Trop.
- Former Rays pitcher of three seasons, Edwin Jackson, is nearing a four-year, $52MM deal with the Cubs, which - if not traded mid-season - would be the longest he's spent with any club in his career.
- Beyond the Box Score: Matt Hunter discusses three key factors that affect pitch framing. Also, Bradley Woodrum dropped by the Beyond the Box Score podcast to discuss the AL East, and knuckleballers in Toronto and Japan.
- New A's shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima says Billy Beane is ‘extremely sexy and cool'.
- Baseball Prospectus has 8 gift recommendations for any baseball fans you might be shopping for. I've already asked Santa for No. 6.