For as much as I loved Jason Vargas’ comeback year in 2017, It’s hard to see him doing better, or even as good in the future. He’s going to be entering 35 year old season, and really declined a bit after his hot start to 2017.
One of the big problems of the San Francisco Giants’ 2017 staff was that they weren’t a good enough strikeout squad. The Giants K/9 for their staff in 2010, 2014, and 2016 was above 8, in 2012 was just above 7.5 but still in the top half of the league. In 2017 the Giants were at 7.65, but near the bottom of the league. Vargas himself has never possessed a K/9 higher than 8.25, and last season was 6.7.
Vargas was a contact pitcher, playing to a very strong defensive team in 2017 (Royals were top 10 defense in UZR and committed the fifth least errors in baseball). The Giants defense may be a whole lot better in 2018 if they get the right pieces, however there are plenty of good starting pitcher options out there that are worth looking at over Vargas.
At 35, there isn’t a whole lot he’s done to convince me he’s going to post 2017 numbers beyond 2017. Vargas would be a fourth or fifth starter at best, and would you really want a high value 35 year old taking away precious innings from young prospect starters like Chris Stratton or Tyler Beede? Didn’t think so. NEXT!