The New York Mets' 2018 season has been utterly disastrous and extremely disappointing. Funnily enough, those same adjectives could describe the season that Mets starter Jason Vargas is having.
Numbers are not as they appear
The 35-year-old lefty signed with the Mets late in the offseason. Sandy Alderson snagged the former Kansas City Royal days before the start of Spring Training and signed him to a two-year deal for $16m.
Vargas and the Mets seemed like a match made in heaven. The Mets were in search of a lefty to round out their rotation under the eye of new pitching coach Dave Eiland, and Jason Vargas was a lefty looking for a ball club and also worked with Eiland in Kansas City.
Vargas put up some pretty decent numbers in 2017. The lefty went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA. Not the best starter in the game, but a decent fifth starter to fit into the Mets rotation. But if we have learned anything from watching the Mets in 2018, it should be that wins and losses mean nothing for pitchers. Just ask Jacob deGrom, who has a 1.69 ERA and only five wins. The numbers were deceiving, so Vargas became a Met, and the nosedive started right on schedule.
So far this season, Jason Vargas (who started the year on the disabled list with a broken right hand) has gone 2-6 in nine starts and owns an 8.60 ERA. These numbers sound bad, but his performance is actually worse than it appears. He is painful to watch.
Why was Vargas brought in, exactly?
The signing of Vargas in late February was underwhelming. A move needed to be made if Alderson was serious about his team contending in 2018. With all talks of contention now silenced, it is easy to see that signing Vargas was a desperate move made by a man with very little slack given on a short leash.
Signing Vargas was better than not signing anyone, but hindsight being 20/20, it seems the team would have been better off having a bullpen outing every fifth day. Kevin Plawecki had more success pitching for the Mets than Vargas has thus far. Vargas has not helped his team at all, and a chance at redemption isn't even a possibility right now.
Vargas has recently been placed on the disabled list with a right calf injury that is keeping him from being able to field his position to the best of his ability, but who needs to field their position when all they do is give up home run after home run? His HR/FB ratio stands at a career-worst 21.2%, well above his career mark of 9.6%, and his hard contact allowed is up to 37.4% from 32.7% last year.
What it comes down to is this: Jason Vargas should never have been signed. The addition of the unreliable lefty was a decision made out of desperation, and one that should never have been made. Vargas may go down in history as one of the worst decisions made by a team trying to contend, and the worst part is the Mets may have no choice but to eat the money and release him if things don't change.
How do you feel about Jason Vargas? Ler us know in the comments!