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Phillies Add Rotation Depth With LHP Jason Vargas



A day after acquiring one of the best starting pitchers on the market, New York shipped a starting pitcher out of town. While much speculation has surrounded the potential trade value of Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, Monday afternoon’s move was much more modest, as the Mets dealt away a durable back-of-the-rotation starter in Jason Vargas.

METS ACQUIRE

Austin Bossart, C
Age: 26

Bossart has long had a good reputation as a defensive catcher, going back to his days at Penn. He is a solid receiver who has thrown out 34 percent of basestealers in two seasons at Double-A Reading. But it’s much harder to find scouts who are convicted that he will hit enough for a long-term MLB role. Bossart has started to develop a little bit of power and draws some walks, but he projects as a well-below average hitter who seems most likely to have a solid career in Triple-A as a part-time backstop. Bossart was Rule 5 eligible and unpicked last year, and the Mets likely will not need to protect him for the Rule 5 draft this December either. His defense could end up creating a path to the major leagues at some point if injuries arise.

PHILLIES ACQUIRE

Jason Vargas, LHP
Age: 36

At a time when many starting pitchers are struggling to land one significant contract after reaching free agency, Vargas is finishing up his second multi-year free agent deal. After signing a four-year, $32 million deal with the Royals in 2014, Vargas is now on the second year of a two-year, $16 million contract with the Mets. The deal contains a team option for next year, but it’s likely the Phillies will exercise the $2 million buyout, so the trade not only gets the Mets out of the final two months of his contract, but a reasonably hefty buyout as well. Vargas’ fastball was below-average in his prime. Now it sits at 85 mph, giving him one of the slowest fastballs in the majors. But he relies heavily on a still effective changeup that helps him dance around trouble. Vargas is largely a twice-through-the- order starter now, but his craftiness is enough to allow him to eat some innings. Joining the Phillies will not help his tendency to give up home runs, but with the team needing rotation help, Vargas is a low-cost acquisition.

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