The Mets continued to be one of the most active teams in free agency, signing pitcher Jason Vargas to a two-year, $16 million deal. The signing reunites Vargas with Dave Eiland, who was his pitching coach last year with the Royals. In 2017, Vargas threw 179.2 IP and had a 4.16 ERA and a 1.330 WHIP.
Vargas had TJ surgery during the 2015 season, which also caused him to miss most of the 2016 campaign. He returned with a vengeance last year, posting a 12-3 record with a 2.22 ERA the first three months of 2017.
But from July 1 to the end of the year, Vargas was 6-8 with a 6.66 ERA. Opposing batters recorded a .926 OPS against him (with a .311 BABIP) in this stretch.
The 35-year-old lefty throws three pitches, starting with a mid-80s sinking fastball. He also throws a changeup and a curve, with the change being his best pitch. Vargas started throwing his curve more often once he joined the Royals and last year threw it a career-high 20.3 percent of the time, with positive results.
Knowing that Mickey Callaway had success with his pitchers in Cleveland throwing a high number of breaking balls, it will be curious to see if Vargas throws even more curves in 2018 with the Mets.