The November 22nd, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Angels pursuing David Freese and Joe Smith, Vargas signs with Royals and much more...
The Monkey Says: This broke yesterday morning but not much has come of it sense. The fact that we are already 24 hours past the rumor strongly suggests it isn't going to happen. A lot of teams are going to call on Freese since third base is a need for so many teams, but the Angels do match up well with the Cardinals who appear to be targeting outfield help in the swap. The most likely name to be moved for the Halos is Peter Bourjos as he would give St. Louis a legit defensive center fielder to displace Jon Jay. However, Kole Calhoun is just such a prototypical Cardinal player that it wouldn't be a shock if they tried to get him instead. The important takeaways here are that Aybar is not on the table and it doesn't sound like any Cardinal starting pitchers are either.
The Monkey Says: The Angels apparently were still in on him, but didn't want to budge from their three-year, $24 million offer. It is hard to blame Vargas for taking the extra year and it is hard to blame the Angels for not wanting to offer the soon-to-be 31-year old a fourth year, especially after shoulder surgery in 2013. This loss has some Angel fans upset, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Vargas was league average and fully replaceable with similar pitchers for less total money. Besides, the Angels need to be upgrading over Vargas if they really want to contend in 2014. As for losing out by not giving him a qualifying offer, look at the $8 million average annual value on the deal and realize how attractive it would have been for Vargas to take the one-year, $14 million qualifying offer and then hitting the open market the next year to get a similar offer that KC gave him. Even if he had rejected it, the Kyle Lohse experience last year showed that teams aren't falling over themselves to forfeit a top draft pick to get their hands on mid-rotation starter.