Do the Royals hope to strike gold twice with a former Angels hurler?
Jason Vargas has been a hot commodity for a couple of years now. Something about left-handed pitchers.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim dealt Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for the lefty’s services last December. Their hopes were to bolster the Angels’ starting staff. There was talk of the Angles wanting to re-sign Vargas, but yesterday, he inked a four-year, $32MM deal with the Kansas City Royals. Presser and all.
When you check out his 2013 game logs, you notice a gap of two months. That is due to a having surgery in order to remove a blood clot.
In his profile of Vargas, Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors states this:
Vargas isn’t an elite rotation piece, and teams that need top-of-the-rotation arms aren’t likely to make him a prime target. He’s a strong back-end starter and can slide into the middle of a rotation if needed, and plenty of teams will be looking for such arms.
The Royals website currently has Jason Vargas listed as their #3 pitcher. More on that in a bit.
As far as reaction to the deal, here’s what David Hill from Kings of Kauffman opined:
Vargas may not be that impressive when looking at his career numbers, but he has been a much better pitcher over the past four seasons that his career statistics would indicate. Since becoming a full time starter in 2010, Vargas has gone 42-44 with a 3.97 ERA, failing to top 190 innings only once in that time frame. Overall, he appears to be a solid back of the rotation innings eater, someone that may be more likely to replace Bruce Chen as opposed to Ervin Santana.
That one time not surpassing 190 IP was last, as I have previously noted as to why that was the case.
So it doesn’t appear that signing Vargas has filled the void between James Shields and Jeremy Guthrie. That’s the slot that was filled by Santana, who now appears to be headed out of Kansas City after only one year.
GM Dayton Moore can address that gap at the winter meetings unless he now feels the Royals rotation is set.