The Phillies on Monday acquired veteran left-handed starting pitcher Jason Vargas and cash considerations from the Mets in exchange for catcher Austin Bossart.
To make room for Vargas on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated Yacksel Rios for assignment. The Phillies are also getting money from the Mets in the deal, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.
Vargas fits the profile of the type of player the Phillies were expected to acquire. Vargas is a slight rotation upgrade and he’s under contract through the end of 2020. He is owed $8 million next season in the form of a club option. There is a $2 million buyout of that option, but with the Phillies also needing starting pitching next season, Vargas will probably be back unless he pitches poorly or suffers a serious injury over these final two months (see story). He has a 3.34 ERA and .212 opponents’ batting average over his last 12 starts. He is a No. 4 starter at best, but he’s better than what the Phillies have outside of Aaron Nola.
Vargas’ most notable act this season came off the field when he threatened a New York reporter after that reporter had an unwarranted tiff with Mets manager Mickey Callaway. Both Callaway and Vargas apologized later in the week.
Vargas’ opponents this season have hit .228/.304/.408. Nola’s opponents have hit .236/.320/.402. Nola is obviously far, far superior but it illustrates the underratedly solid year to date Vargas has had.
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