In the past week the Angels have signed Josh Hamilton to a five year $125 million contract and traded Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas. After the signing of Hamilton the discussion turned to Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo getting traded. As of Wednesday morning there was a possibility of five destinations for Mark Trumbo. It appeared that the Angels were going to trade their young and talented All Star outfielder to get additional pitching depth. Or they would look to unload Vernon Wells to possibly the Yankees or Phillies who appear to have interest in the veteran.
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Then the Angels come out of nowhere and trade Kendrys Morales to their West Division rival Seattle Mariners. The move made sense for both teams. The trade of Morales has basically squashed the possibility of Trumbo or Bourjos being traded in the near future. The departure of Morales allows the Angels to use Trumbo primarily in the DH role. Mike Scioscia will certainly use Trumbo at first base and outfield to give Pujols and Hamilton days off without completely taking them out of the lineup but use them at the DH instead.
The move to get rid themselves of Morales now was the right move because he would have left as a free agent next offseason. Trumbo is 26yrs old and is under team control for another four more years. He is coming off a season in which he hit .268 with 32 home runs and 95 runs batted in and made his first All Star team. Trumbo has hit 61 home runs in the last two seasons and he is progressively getting better. By keeping Trumbo and Bourjos the Angels have an excellent blend of veterans and youth.
The spending the Angels have done the past two winters has started to create discussion as to whether the Angels were becoming the Yankees of the west coast. The label certainly fits them based on the financial commitments they have made but the restraint they have shown in not trading Trumbo or Bourjors will certainly be the best investment they have made this winter.
The greatest move by Jerry Dipoto this winter will not be the signing of Josh Hamilton or trades of Morales and Walden. Dipoto will be remembered for making the right decision and sticking with Mark Trumbo.
Robert W. Ekberg is a staff writer for Sportsoutwest and is a Los Angeles based writer/blogger
Follow him on Twitter @Robek24