The Los Angeles Angels traded for Jason Vargas last December with the hopes that they would have his service for longer than just one season. Unfortunately, that will not be the case after the starting pitcher signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
There is no question losing out on Vargas definitely hurts the already struggling rotation. Even though his numbers weren’t exactly off the charts, he was a reliable arm among the starting five that would have made a huge difference for Los Angeles going forward. The Angels must now figure out a way to build the rotation around Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards, which will most likely occur through free agency.
Vargas posted a 9-8 record with a 4.02 earned run average, 109 strikeouts, 1.8 wins above replacement, three complete games and two shutouts in 150 innings last season.
There is no doubt the team will miss his presence after the rotation posted a 4.30 ERA, which ranked 11th in the American League. Not to mention, Vargas is a durable pitcher, even though he only made 24 starts with Los Angeles, which was the first time in three years that he didn’t toss at least 192 innings.
The fact is a came down to the money and Los Angeles was simply unable to give him a four-year deal. The organization has far too many expenses to be giving out additional years to starters who are not the No. 1 or No. 2 pitchers in the rotation. It’s unfortunate the team was unable to bring him back but the reality is it just didn’t fit the finances.