It’s been nearly a week since the New York Mets . This one saw manager Mickey Callaway cuss out a reporter before said reporter was then threatened by left-handed starter Jason Vargas. The Mets have since apologized publicly and privately; Callaway has done the same, even if he required some nudging. Vargas, however, hasn’t taken responsibility for his actions — and his inaction has reportedly angered the Mets’ management.
According to Wallace Matthews of Yahoo! Sports, Vargas is unlikely to be on the roster next season as a result. Here’s part of what Matthews reported on Friday:
“We’re all angry with him,” a Mets official said Thursday, who requested anonymity. “Think he’ll be here next year?”
The man went on to say Vargas, who at the moment is the Mets’ most reliable starter, might not even be a Met come Aug. 1. ”This did not help him,” he said.
Vargas, 36, is having a better season than most realize. He entered Saturday with a 3.66 ERA (111 ERA+) and a 2.04 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His stuff isn’t jaw-dropping, but Jacob deGrom is the only Mets starter with a better ERA. It says something that the Mets — still clinging to slim playoff odds — would so strongly desire to be rid of him as soon as possible.
Will general manager Brodie Van Wagenen be able to find a taker? Maybe.
Vargas is the opposite of what teams desire nowadays. He’s a changeup artist who must locate to succeed in an era where teams prioritize high-spin, high-velocity arms who can challenge batters up in the zone. That doesn’t mean a contender wouldn’t take Vargas as its fourth or fifth starter based on his track record — to his credit, he’s posted an ERA+ of at least 100 in four of his last five full seasons. It just means they probably won’t be willing to give up much in order to make a deal happen. It might not require much, given the Mets’ disgust with him.
As such, don’t be surprised if the Mets do find a way to move Vargas ahead of the deadline. Should they fail in that effort, they can always just buy him out this winter for $2 million in lieu of exercising an $8 million club option.