Adding pitching has been a focal point for the Texas Rangers front office this winter. Plenty of quality free agent arms left on the open market. Could lefty Jason Vargas be a fit with the Rangers?
Finding reliable pitching at an affordable price can be quite difficult in the MLB. The Texas Rangers have already added a few veterans this winter, but could Jason Vargas be next? What are the chances that Texas signs Vargas this winter?
Last season, Vargas went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA in 32 starts with the Kansas City Royals. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his 12-year MLB career. Vargas might be one of the few quality free agent arms that won’t command a mega deal.
The Rangers have already added Doug Fister, Mike Minor, and Matt Moore to their 2018 rotation. Lefties Cole Hamels and Martin Perez will return at the top of the rotation. Texas has mentioned that Minor who was a reliever last season, could move to the bullpen, if Texas signs another starter.
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Adding a top-tier arm is the focus of the Rangers, but those pitchers also demand long-term mega deals. Signing veteran pitchers to short-term deals could be a safer plan for Texas. The Rangers want to be competitive, but not lock themselves into a large deal they can’t get rid of (Shin-Soo Choo), so may decide to play it safe.
The best scenario would be a two-year deal with Vargas with a team option for a third year. Somewhere in the ballpark of $10-13 million a year. Vargas is looking to cash-in, but might need to lower his expectations as spring approaches.