Given the multitude of injuries the New York Mets experienced in their rotation, adding further depth seemed a guarantee. On Friday, New York found their man and agreed to a two-year, major-league deal with starting pitcher Jason Vargas. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported the news.
Vargas joins on with a New York team where he will slide into the back of the rotation immediately. Last season with the Kansas City Royals, Vargas made 32 starts and finished with an 18-11 record behind a 4.16 ERA, 4.67 FIP in 179 2/3 innings pitched.
The wins certainly stand out, especially given he tied with Clayton Kershaw for the most wins amongst pitchers. But wins are a flawed statistic dependent on numerous contextual factors. 2017 is a fluke in terms of wins, but a closer look at Vargas 2017 season shows there were still plenty of positives that will make him a solid contributor for New York this coming season.
Last season, Vargas finished 38th amongst starting pitchers in quality starts (16), per FOX Sports. While finishing outside the top 30 doesnt sound tremendous, Vargas recorded as many quality starts as Jake Arrieta and one more than Alex Cobb, the top starting pitchers left in free agency. He also kept the walks down with jsut a 2.91 BB/9 last season.
The addition from a real life perspective is a solid move for New York, but Vargas will be a tough fantasy option to trust in 2018. His 4.86 SIERA, Skills-Interactive ERA, a 9.1 H/9 and the odds of regression in wins will substantially cut back the fantasy value from a pitcher who only struck out 134 batters last season.
New York will hope the first half Vargas who posted a 2.62 ERA and limited opposing batters to a .278 wOBA returns, but Vargas recent trends suggest he is closer to his second-half form when he posted a .377 wOBA allowed and a 6.38 ERA. In the end, Vargas will likely finish with a 4.7-plus ERA and nine wins.