51 Reasons the Jason Vargas Deal Sucks Reviewed by Momizat on . In honor of the jersey number he will wear: Physioc likes it. While it's a decent value in terms of AAV (average annual value), they had to give him 4 years to In honor of the jersey number he will wear: Physioc likes it. While it's a decent value in terms of AAV (average annual value), they had to give him 4 years to Rating: 0
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51 Reasons the Jason Vargas Deal Sucks

51 Reasons the Jason Vargas Deal Sucks

In honor of the jersey number he will wear:

      1. Physioc likes it.
      2. While it’s a decent value in terms of AAV (average annual value), they had to give him 4 years to get that.
      3. I’d rather have him for 1 year at $11M.
      4. In other words, 4 years is too long. Vargas is about to turn 30. Ask David Lesky about pitchers after age 31.
      5. Vargas can’t replace the 2013 version of Ervin Santana. Not even close. Signing Santana to a huge deal would’ve been pretty myopic as well, but replacing him with a league-average innings eater makes the Royals worse than they were last year — they simply don’t have the resources to add much more.
      6. Vargas isn’t a front of the rotation pitcher — at least not for a good team. On this contract, in a market like Kansas City, he needs to be at least a #3. To me, that means being instrumental to a playoff appearance and deserving to start 2 games per 7-game series.
      7. That puts a lot of pressure on the Royals young arms (Danny Duffy, Yordano Ventura, and Kyle Zimmer).
      8. It also puts a lot of added pressure James Shields to be excellent every time he takes the hill. Not that he can’t do it, but having Santana behind him was obviously huge for the Royals in ’13.
      9. Speaking of Shields, there’s almost no way he signs an extension now. It was likely before, but think about the veteran pitchers on the payroll for 2015 and beyond — Guthrie and Vargas. Combined, they will be paid $34M for 4 seasons at an average age of 34 (maybe 5-6 fWAR total?). And they’ll be logging a lot of innings because of those figures. Is that better than 2 seasons and $34M for Shields (maybe 5-8 total fWAR over that time), with cheaper, homegrown arms and one-year bargains behind him? I don’t think so.
      10. The 2015 rotation will probably be headlined by Vargas, Guthrie, and Wade Davis.
      11. Is he sick or something?

        Is he sick or something?

      12. A one- or two-year deal would’ve been better. Unless Vargas is excellent, he will be nearly unmovable. Long story shot, if the Royals are bad and Vargas is good at any time during the first 2-3 years of this contract, the team won’t be able to get anything of value out of him on the trade market.
      13. Bartolo Colon
      14. Chris Capuano
      15. Colby Lewis
      16. Hell, even Barry Zito, Jake Westbrook, Edinson Volquez, Ryan Vogelsong, Aaron Harang, Erik Bedard, Freddy Garcia, Joe Saunders, John Lannan, Roberto Hernandez, Mike Pelfrey, or Kevin Slowey on one-year deals. Probably not the same production in 2014, definitely not the same burden in ’15-’17.
      17. To digress, Dave Cameron was nice enough to answer some of my questions on Twitter.
      18. So, it’s not like this signing is the stupidest thing that ever happened in the state of Missouri, but it’s not a move that will help the Royals significantly in getting back to their 2013 level of competition — let alone in improving enough to make the postseason.
      19. Would any of the teams that made the playoffs in 2013 make this deal? Well, the Dodgers would probably do it to fill out their triple-A rotation, but that doesn’t really count.
      20. The signing cost the team George Kottaras — who was cut and will likely be replaced by Brett Hayes or Francisco Pena. Kottaras has an excellent OBP track record, an area that the team desperately needs to improve.
      21. When Dayton Moore said he wasn’t concerned with his #2 being a #2-caliber guy, he meant it.
      22. Vargas will probably get an extension if he gets double-digit wins…because wins are a good metric in the eyes of this organization.
      23. April 4th, 2014 — Scherzer vs….Vargas
      24. Doesn’t know the glove-censor trick. This is middle America, J.

      25. Moore’s scouting report on him is (in it’s entirety): “…a competitor” and a “strike-thrower.”
      26. Omar Infante is probably no longer an option.
      27. The Beltran dream is dead.
      28. That means the team will (more than likely) have to turn to the trade market to add impact players. Moore doesn’t have a great track record in that department.
      29. The chances for an underwhelming financial return on this investment are high.
      30. That could influence David Glass to scale back the payroll in the future rather than investing in a fringe playoff team.
      31. Vargas is not leave-average, as many have reported. His career xFIP- is 111, his FIP- is 112, and his career ERA- is 109.
      32. $32M is too much of a total commitment. The only positive thing the deal really accomplishes is the number of innings they’ll get from Vargas that will subsequently keep them from rushing prospects into the rotation — by plan or serendipity.
      33. Vargas has to be worth more than 5 fWAR over the life of the contract to live up to it (using the open market figure of $6M-$7M per win).
      34. Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.49.55 PM

        Vargas’ ZiPs projections

      35. From now on the words “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” will hurl Royals fans into instantaneous apoplectic shock.
      36. Now another AL Central team is unable to sign Jason Vargas to a 4-year, $32M deal.
      37. His career SIERA (a metric used to determine actual skill level) is 4.57.
      38. According to that metric, he’s only slightly more skilled than Vin Mazzaro.
      39. And he’s slightly less skilled than Jerome Williams.
      40. The misplaced pride of the organization in concern to this deal is directly embarrassing for you (yes, you.)
      41. If the signing somehow, through some series of preternatural miracles, works out…they’ll do it again.
      42. It made Bob Dutton say this:
      43. I personally committed several desperate crimes after first reading the news.
      44. Just the latest in a long line of decisions that prove the Royals, as an organization, do not understand the game any differently than the original regime did when the team was formed in 1969.
      45. There’s only one Gil Meche. Or more bluntly, Vargas isn’t giving any of that money back.
      46. Average fastball: 87.6 MPH
      47. He’s only pitched more than 200 innings twice in his 8-year career.
      48. “Hey Jason, you want $32M?”

      49. Vargas has always pitched in pitcher-friendly parks. Kauffman will continue that trend to some extent, but his numbers away from home are terrible — opponents’ slash of .282/.340/.468, 5.17 ERA, and a 1.45 WHIP.
      50. Ned Yost will be managing him.
      51. It was Dayton Moore’s idea.


About The Author

I was born a few months before the '85 Series and have been a Royals fan since. Sometimes I think baseball is the ultimate simulation of life, an unblemished metaphor for a utopia. And sometimes I think it's a bunch of grown ups wearing costumes. But I'm always fascinated by it and, ideal or not, the world is a slightly better place because of it.

Number of Entries : 21

Comments (2)

  • unclejesse

    I think as fans we forget that Kansas City is not the destination spot that we want to think it is. Josh Johnson, Dan Haren and a whole lot of other guys don’t sign here. Unless you are going to shell out big freakin contracts with one more year on it or several million per year more you just aren’t going to bring in the top players when MLB doesn’t have a better system in place. Put a salary floor and cap in baseball and you would see guys signing with lots of other teams because the resources are more spread out. Do I wish that Johnson and Haren would sign one year deals here, heck yes I do but heck we had to trade for Santana last year, do we really think he would have come here had he had the option?

  • DownUnderFan

    Definitely agree with the 4 years. At worst, should have been 3 years $24M with vested $9M option 4th year based on 500 innings in first 3 years.

    Vargas is between Chen and Santana. So Dayton basically got back half what he lost to free agency for 1/2 money spent on Santana and Chen in 2013. Course, even getting equal value would only get the team back to 86 wins and most likely another 3rd place Central Division. So this deal does nothing to make the next step toward playoff team. And think that will be the issue during the 2014 season unless the next moves do something to definitely improve the offense and/or pitching.

    In reality, without more major moves, 2014 improvement will fall on the shoulders of Duffy, Ventura, Dwyer, Zimmer, Smith and potentially Jason Adam. Remember 2013 had only one SP go on DL (Duffy in September). Believing that can happen two years in a row is about like believing your numbers are guaranteed to win the lottery.

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