Milwaukee Brewers Sign Claudio Vargas

By Michael Terrill

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed right-hander Claudio Vargas to a minor league deal.

Vargas has played eight seasons in the major leagues and suited up for Milwaukee in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Milwaukee was the last professional team the 33-year-old pitcher played for before he retired last summer. He did see some action with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies minor-league affiliates.

His most productive year with the Brewers came in 2007 when he was one of the team’s starters. Of Vargas’ 29 appearances, 23 were starts. In those 29 games he pitched 134.1 innings with a respectable 11-6 record and 5.09 earned run average. He struck out 107 batters and walked 54 while surrendering 23 home runs. He also collected one save when pitching out of the bullpen.

Vargas’ best season with Milwaukee came in 2009 when he was strictly used as a reliever, more specifically in the eighth inning. In 28 games he posted a 1-0 record with 11 holds, two saves, 20 strikeouts and an impressive 1.78 ERA. Vargas was traded to the Dodgers later in the season where he only pitched 11.0 innings.

His last season in the majors was certainly one to forget as he allowed 16 earned runs in 19.2 innings pitched. He recorded one victory with a 7.32 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

After Vargas retired he decided to sign with Vaqueros Laguna, a Mexican League team, for the 2012 season.

It is encouraging to see Vargas sign with the Brewers and play for Class AAA Nashville. Milwaukee’s bullpen has been inconsistent, like a majority of the team, and could use a fresh arm if Vargas proves capable of pitching in the major leagues again. It is certainly worth a shot for the Brewers considering Vargas is a proven reliever who has pitched well late in his career.

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