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Phillies Acquire LHP Jason Vargas from Mets

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired another left-handed starting pitcher, complementing fellow southpaw Drew Smyly. On Monday, just days before the July 31 trade deadline, the club acquired LHP Jason Vargas and cash considerations from the New York Mets in exchange for minor-league catching prospect Austin Bossart. As a corresponding move, RHP Yacksel Rios was designated for assignment.

Vargas, 36, is a 14-year veteran  that over the past two seasons with the Mets went 13-14 with a 4.88 ERA and 165-69 strikeout-to-walk ratio spanning 186 1/3 innings, 39 appearances and 38 starts. This season, since returning from the injured list in late May, Vargas has posted a a 3.34 ERA over 12 starts. 

The Apple Valley, California, native earned his first and only career All-Star nod in 2017, when with the Kansas City Royals he posted a MLB-best 18 wins. Vargas appeared in three starts with the Royals during the 2014 postseason, including a World Series start opposite the eventual champion San Francisco Giants (4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO).

Bossart, 26, slashed just .195/.303/.335 with seven doubles, seven home runs and 28 RBI spanning 63 games this season at Double-A Reading.

Vargas will replace RHP Zach Eflin in the starting rotation, and will make his Phillies debut this Friday against the Chicago White Sox. Vargas is owed a total of $8 million this season, which will be entirely covered by the Mets. For 2020, the Phillies are on the hook for either exercising Vargas' $8 million team option or buying the contract out at $2 million.


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