Jason Vargas to the Oakland Athletics
Nobody in contention may need some starting pitching help more than the Oakland Athletics. The loss of Frankie Montas to a PED suspension is one they will need to overcome. Acquiring Jason Vargas could be one way to find those innings.
We should look at Vargas as a team’s fifth starter option. In Oakland, I could see them doing something creative and using him in relief in a game where a relief pitcher starts. Their bullpen has been hit-and-miss much like Vargas’ 2019 results with the Mets.
The Mets and Athletics made a trade last year when they sent Jeurys Familia packing for the Bay Area. So, there is a recent history there.
Oakland is not a team we should expect to spend big on trade deadline talent. Madison Bumgarner won’t ride a boat over to the Oakland Coliseum and finish out his 2019 season there. The Athletics also won’t overpay for Marcus Stroman or Matt Boyd. Anything they add this year will be on the same level as Vargas.
It also doesn’t hurt that they play in a large ballpark. Vargas likely cannot survive the duration of 2019 while pitching in a hitter-friendly atmosphere. The Athletics could potentially get an innings eater (albeit a limited five per night) at a low cost. We know the Mets want to get anything at all in return for Vargas. Hopefully, if willing to eat a portion of his contract, we see them actually get something pretty nice in return. I don’t expect anything more than a faded prospect or a guy outside of the team’s top 20. Anything at all of value would be worth it.
Even after adding Homer Bailey in a trade on Sunday with the Kansas City Royals, I would think the Athletics may want to consider another veteran arm.