June 5, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jason Vargas (60) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Royals ink LHP Jason Vargas for 4-years/$32MM

The Kansas City Royals have signed left-handed starting pitcher Jason Vargas to a four-year deal, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.

The deal is said to be for $32 million over that span.

Vargas went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA last year for the Los Angeles Angels after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Seattle Mariners that sent first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales to the Northwest.

The 30-year-old Vargas sports a career ERA of 4.30, but hasn’t been above that mark since 2009 when he posted a 4.91 with the Mariners.

A common knock on Vargas is his inability to pitch well on the road.  Over the course of his MLB existence, Vargas has put up a 5.17 ERA away and a 3.46 at home.

Vargas was limited to 24 games in 2013 due to a blood clot in his armpit that had to be surgically removed on June 26th, so his sample size from this season is a bit skewed, but still decent numbers for a back-end starter.

After spending a majority of his career at notorious pitcher’s park Safeco Field, Vargas has given up 48 HRs at home compared to 77 on the road in a virtually identical number of starts; 76 at home, 79 on the road.

Still, Vargas was one of the most intriguing pitching prospects out there in this year’s free agency class, but a bit of a risk.
Time will tell if this is a bargain or bust for the Royals.

Tags: Jason Vargas Kansas City Royals Los Angeles Angels MLB Seattle Mariners

  • Aaron Somers

    “Vargas was one of the best pitching prospects out there in this year’s free agent class.”

    Matt, how familiar are you with the available options on the free agent market? Vargas wouldn’t have ranked in the Top 15 if we were to rank them when the offseason officially started. Even with a few guys off the board early I still am not convinced that he’d be among the top options available.

    • Matt Cowlishaw

      Yeah you’re right. I misspoke a little bit, but have since changed it. Thank you for pointing that out Aaron.