In what could be his final start for the New York Mets, Jason Vargas gave them six shutout innings of one-hit ball.
Before Robinson Cano grabbed headlines in the New York Mets win against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night, starting pitcher Jason Vargas was the talk of the town. The veteran lefty has been the subject of trade talks all month long. In what could be his finale with the Mets, Vargas came up big.
In six innings of work, Vargas gave up just a single hit to the Padres. None of the Friars managed to cross home plate although they did draw four walks. Vargas still got the best of them with eight strikeouts. This includes three strikeouts against rising star Fernando Tatis Jr.
If Vargas isn’t traded over the next few days, he will make another appearance for the Mets on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a lesser valued trade piece, it’s quite possible this outing was the penultimate episode and not the last one of his time in New York.
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Vargas is one of three Mets we can expect to get shopped heavily over the next week. Along with fellow starter Zack Wheeler and third baseman Todd Frazier, the Mets are expected to attempt deals involving each. However, like Wheeler, there is a reason to maybe think about keeping Vargas.
Next year, Vargas’ deal includes a team option for $8 million. At 37-years-old for the 2020 season, it’s certainly a risk. It’s one I wouldn’t touch even if it may seem like a bargain when compared to what other pitchers on the open market may provide.
Not to mention, Vargas has been in the Mets doghouse ever since he challenged a reporter to a fight after their horrible loss to the Chicago Cubs. Ever since, trading him has been a priority.
Vargas doesn’t throw hard so age may not affect him the same way it would a flame-throwing pitcher. He’s surviving this year with change and wise pitch-selection. Considering his noticeably higher FIP than ERA, we can also say there has been some luck involved.
Now at 5-5 with a 3.96 ERA on the year, Vargas is a starting pitcher teams looking for depth should consider. He’s the kind of guy who can help a team get to the postseason and possibly find a bullpen role during October if he’s there at all. The Mets may need to settle for a player to be named later in any deal for him.
If they’re lucky, someone offers a little more.
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Never forget, the Padres acquired Fernando Tatis Jr. and another prospect in a June 4th trade back in 2016 for a struggling James Shields. At the time, he wasn’t considered a top 100 prospect. Let this serve as a PSA that sometimes you should make any deal you can.