The Royals were the ones to finally do it.
On Friday night, Kansas City edged out the Cleveland Indians 4-3 to snap the latter’s American League record 22-game winning streak. Securing the victory was southpaw Jason Vargas.
The 12-year veteran is in the midst of the best year of his career, pitching to a 16-10 record with a 4.19 ERA and 3.4 WAR in 29 starts. His performance was good enough to send him to his first ever All-Star game back in July.
Vargas, 34, is set to hit the open market this winter, and with the Mets presumably seeking a veteran starter, he could make a lot of sense.
Since he is in the second leg of his career, Vargas is unlikely seeking a long-term contract, but if the Mets dangle a two-year deal with an option in front of him, he could snatch it up.
2017 is the first full season the California native has had since undergoing Tommy John surgery and the results have been positive.
He’s not a flamethrower by any stretch of the imagination with his fastball topping out in the mid-to-high 80’s, but he can effectively toss his changeup and curveball on either side of the plate to get hitters out.
In an article by the Kansas City Star from July brought to light Vargas’ lowered arm slot and release point.
His changeup, the pitch that has kept him in the majors, has dominated hitters all year. Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland attributes it to his lower release point which has made it more devastating.
A presence in the rotation from someone like Vargas would help mentor the younger arms and especially since he’s more of a finesse pitcher, could help them realize pitching isn’t just about blowing hitters away.
The Mets will likely pursue one or two arms for the rotation next year, and Vargas should be at the top of their list.