Today, the New York Mets bolstered their rotation by adding southpaw veteran Jason Vargas. He has agreed on a two-year deal for $16MM that includes a third-year option, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Vargas can make an additional $1.5MM per year, if he reaches a specific innings total.
This move is much needed, since the Mets starting rotation last year other than Jacob deGrom were injured for most of the season. The Mets wanted stability and got it in signing Vargas, who is about to turn 35 in two weeks.
Vargas’ age is not an issue, as he does not put a great amount of heat on his fastball, which preserves his arm and that he relies on his secondary pitches that are quite good.
He did have Tommy John surgery that wiped out most of his 2015-16 campaigns.
That led to some fatigue in the second half of the year (6.66 ERA in final 16 starts), but control was not an issue. Now, the southpaw has a full year under his belt from the surgery and do not expect much fatigue in the upcoming campaign.
In addition, Jason Vargas had a dominant first half by posting a 12-3 record and 2.62 ERA in 106.1 innings of work that led to his first ever All-Star appearance. He punched out only 78 batters (pitches to contact).
Finally, I do not know who the odd man out is by if I must guess, I would figure either Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler are on the trading block, unless one goes to the bullpen.
Jason Vargas 2017 season stats: 18-11 record, 4.16 ERA, 3.8 WAR, 179.2 innings, 32 starts, 134 strikeouts