Although he does pitch occasionally, you are likely to best know Jason Vargas as the dude on the Mets who told a reporter in the Wrigley Field visitors clubhouse, “I’ll knock you the f*** out, bro.” Losing the Cubs really pisses people off, apparently.
And now Vargas will take his talents to the City of Brotherly Love:
Jason Vargas has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, a source tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2019
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 29, 2019
I joke the jokes, but Vargas, 36, has actually gotten serviceable results this year (4.01 ERA, 3% better than league average), even as you won’t see anything interesting in his peripherals. As a back-end starter, he’s fine.
The Phillies are currently 6.5 games back in the East, behind both the Nationals and Braves, so their best path to the postseason is through a Wild Card berth – all the more reason to make a more modest rotation acquisition like Vargas, which will help cover for Jake Arrieta’s continued downturn as he deals with a bone spur.
As for the Mets, the addition of Marcus Stroman and return of Zack Wheeler (for now) left them with a surplus of starters. I suspect that surplus won’t last forever. But I don’t think they mind. Or something. Who knows with them. They are getting a 26-year-old glove-only AA catcher in the deal, by the way, so I’m thinking they were actually looking to save some cash. Have I mentioned that they had the Blue Jays throw money into the Stroman deal?