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July 29, 2019

Phillies trade for Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas

UPDATE [5:58 p.m.] — The Phillies have made it official, announcing that they've acquired lefty starter Jason Vargas, as well as cash considerations, from the Mets in exchange for minor league catcher Austin Bossart.


The Mets are... doing things at the trade deadline.

Less than a day after New York shockingly traded for ace hurler Marcus Stroman, they traded a hurler away — Jason Vargas — to division rivals the Phillies to make room in their rotation.

Vargas' age, 36, implies the Phillies likely got a bargain in netting the left-handed starter by surrendering just one mid-level prospect.

He's also under contract, theoretically through 2020, with a team option for $8 million next season.

Vargas has a 4.01 ERA, 6-5 record and 81 strikeouts in 94.1 innings this season. Those numbers don't jump out, but he does represent an upgrade — a marginal one at that — for a starting rotation reeling from inconsistency and injuries.

His career numbers aren't exactly confidence-inspiring, as Vargas has a 4.26 ERA over 14 MLB seasons, though he does have four double-digit win seasons, including 18 wins as an All-Star with the Royals back in 2017. 

If you recognize Vargas' name, it's because he made headlines off the field recently, threatening a reporter in the Mets clubhouse back last month.

Where exactly Vargas will slide into the Phillies rotation is yet to be seen, as other deals may still be made for a team that desperately needs multiple pitching arms. Aaron Nola will remain the team's ace presumably in front of Jake Arrieta (who eventually needs surgery with bone spurs in his elbow) and Drew Smyly (who is no sure thing either after being signed off of waivers). Whether the odd man out is Zach Eflin or Vince Velasquez is pretty much irrelevant.

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