The New York Mets and starting pitcher Jason Vargas have reached agreement on a two-year, $16 million deal, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday. With this signing, the Mets continue what has been a busy period during an otherwise stagnant baseball offseason, as they had already signed relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak, infielders Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier and Jose Reyes, and outfielder Jay Bruce. The deal, which is pending a physical, includes a club option for 2020, an MLB source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The agreement was first reported by FanRag Sports, and the length of the contract was first reported by MLB.com.

A soft-tossing lefty, Vargas matched Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for most wins in the majors last season with 18 for the Kansas City Royals. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and made only three starts in 2016, before becoming the first Royals pitcher to win 18 games since Kevin Appier in 1993. Vargas, 35, who was an American League All-Star selection, went 2-7 with an 8.13 ERA in 11 starts from July 5 to Sept. 5. But he won four of his last five starts to finish 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA and 134 strikeouts.

Vargas, who also missed the 2008 season with a torn labrum in his hip, is 85-81 with a 4.17 ERA in parts of 11 seasons spent with the Marlins, Mets, Mariners, Angels and Royals. His previous best season came five years ago, when he went 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA in 33 starts for Seattle. He joined the Mets in 2007, along with minor leaguer Adam Bostick from the Marlins for relievers Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom, in a deal that never panned out for the Mets, as Vargas made two starts before getting injured and missing the remainder of the season, while Bostick never made it to majors and Lindstrom went on to be a moderately successful closer.

Vargas was then traded to the Mariners before the 2009 season in a three team deal that also didn’t work out for the Mets, as they acquired reliever JJ Putz as part of Omar Minaya’s ill-fated bullpen overhaul. Putz wound up pitching hurt to start the season, and underwent elbow surgery in June, ending his only season with the team. Now Vargas returns, having become a known innings eater.

All told, this is a solid if not spectacular move for the Mets. With starters Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb still available, its obvious they settled for Vargas due to money, as this is definitely a cheap addition to their rotation, with Lynn and Cobb expected to get much more annual money and years. Just because its the cheap move doesn’t mean it won’t turn out to be the right move, and the Mets are definitely hoping this signing could become the second coming of their signing of Bartolo Colon back in 2014 (Colon went 44-34 over his three year tenure, becoming a work horse and a fan favorite). Being reunited with his Royals’ pitching coach Dave Eiland should help him build off his solid track record.

Related Posts:

Tags

 
 

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment