Thanks to a solid first half of the season that earned him his first All-Star nod, Jason Vargas will have a few clubs looking his direction during the offseason. He won’t be a name that will get signed early, possibly not until after the start of the new year. But he will be pitching somewhere in 2018.
In truth, teams should neither expect Vargas to be as good as he was in the first half nor as bad as he was in the second.
Unfortunately for Vargas, his atrocious second half is fresh in the minds of team executives around the league. In truth, teams should neither expect Vargas to be as good as he was in the first half nor as bad as he was in the second. His season record will never be what it was in 2017 (18-11) when he tied for the MLB lead in wins. However, it’s reasonable to think he could reach double-digit wins and double-digit losses again.
Vargas will benefit from being left-handed, but his age will be a big deterrent. He will turn 35 in February, and that could force him to settle for a one-year deal. Add in his mostly lost 2015-16 span, and you’re going to really struggle to find a playoff-caliber team to take a chance on him. That being said, Vargas’ best fit might be a dark-horse Wild Card contender.
The Angels made a real push to sneak into the playoffs last season, and that was with a truly awful starting rotation. For 2018, the team seems to have three dependable right-handers in Garrett Richards, Parker Bridwell and Matt Shoemaker. The left-handers, though, are Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney. Both are 26 years old and have potential, but they combined to make just 21 starts in 2017. Vargas, who made 32 starts, could help eat innings until they are ready to pitch a full season.
Logical spot: Los Angeles Angels