The New York Mets have reportedly signed Kansas City Royals veteran left-hander Jason Vargas Friday. His first half was what made him one of the more talked about pitchers last season, but that poor second half coupled in with him being 35 years old is likely what resulted in teams being a bit skeptical of signing Vargy to a large contract.
The deal is for two years and $16 million, according to a source.
Having just turned 35 on February 2, Vargas hasn't seen many suitors come around this winter despite coming off the best season of his career. He would join a gifted but fragile rotation that includes three other All-Stars in Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and former ace Matt Harvey, who can become a free agent after this season.
Vargas is 85-81 with a 4.17 ERA in 12 big league seasons with the Marlins, Mets, Mariners, Angels and Royals. In his lone season with the Mets, Vargas started two games, compiling a 12.19 ERA while going 0-1. Unfortunately, it is far from guaranteed that he will reclaim that form, and as such it appears that the Mets missed out on making a better move during what has already been a surprisingly productive offseason.
Before getting injured, Vargas was 5-2 with a 3.98 ERA in nine starts for the 2015 Royals team that beat the Mets in the World Series.
Vargas was injured about midway through the 2015 season and did not return until over a year later, which explains his limited starts in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. With Vargas on board, the Mets will have at least six starters - if all are healthy - and Wheeler could be squeezed to the bullpen.
Jason Vargas was never a flashy pitcher during his time in Kansas City, but he had a productive career as a member of the Royals.