Best Case Scenario
Maybe, just maybe, Vargas is more like the pitcher he was pre-2018. For what it’s worth, he had some pretty good years in the American League between 2010 and 2017. In fact, he led the league with 18 wins in 2017 with a respectable 4.16 ERA. Vargas did this as a member of a really bad Kansas City Royals club, too.
I would imagine the best the Mets can hope for is something like this. Vargas lucked into many of those wins. The 4.67 FIP suggests so.
More realistically than winning 18 games, I could see Vargas posting an ERA around 4.30 and finishing with a slightly above .500 record. Going 12-11 with a 4.30 ERA would be a godsend.
Vargas is owed another $8 million in 2019 and is under control through 2020 for the same amount. There is a $2 million buyout, which barring some kind of miracle, should occur.
This doesn’t mean Vargas is finished yet. Aside from the injury which put him on the disabled list to begin the year, he did stay healthy. For a Mets team desperate for this, it’s a bonus.
The best we can honestly hope for from Vargas is mediocrity. He’s the team’s fifth starter and the expectations are incredibly low. If he can keep us from debating whether or not he deserves the roster spot, I will consider it a success.
Vargas is on the hot seat and his career is in jeopardy. Another bad year, he may have no choice but to retire.