The 2017 season might have done as much to hurt Jason Vargas as it did help him. He proved he could come back healthy after an elbow injury cost him almost all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons. But he also showed clear signs of fatigue.
Based solely on the first half, Vargas might have been in line for a two-year deal worth upwards of $15-20 million. However, he showed his age — he’ll be 35 when the 2018 season starts — with a horrendous second half. That could take him out of the running for a multi-year contract.
The one positive will be that Vargas’ pitching style isn’t particularly hard on his body. You could also chalk up the fatigue to not having pitched a complete season since 2014. But it should also make teams hesitant to give him more than one guaranteed year.
All that being said, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports thinks Vargas will reel in $24 million over two years. His “expert” sidekick on the article predicts the left-hander will also sign a two-year deal, but they have him earning considerably less money ($14 million).
It’s looking increasingly likely that Vargas signs his contract — whatever the terms may be — with Baltimore. The Orioles seem to have a lot of interest in him and for good reason. With just two starters, both right-handers, set to return, Buck Showalter needs arms. There are enough teams that could use Vargas to think one would be willing to give him a two-year contract.
Verdict: two-year, $16 million contract