Jason Vargas, Starting Pitcher
Date of Birth: 2/2/1983
Birthplace: Apple Valley, California
College: California State University at Long Beach
Jason Vargas, starting pitcher, was first drafted in 2001 by the Minnesota Twins but he opted for college instead. Three years later, he was drafted by the Miami Marlins. He played in the minor leagues from 2004 through 2006, joining the Marlins for 17 games in 2005 and 12 games in 2006. The Marlins traded him to the Mets in November, 2006 and he spent most of the 2007 season in the minor leagues, playing in just two games with the Mets that year.
In March, 2008, Vargas had surgery that kept him out of the 2008 season. The Mets traded him to the Seattle Mariners in December, 2008. The following July, after 23 games with the Mariners, he was sent to the minor leagues.
The Mariners added Vargas to their starting rotation in 2010. That season, he pitched 192.2 innings in 31 games and he finished with a 9-12 record and a 3.78 ERA. In January, 2012, he signed a one-year, $4.85 million contract with the Mariners. The next season was his best one with career highs in games played (33), innings pitched (217.1), wins (14 to 11 losses), and strikeouts (141 to 55 walks). He had a 3.85 ERA in 2012.
In December, 2012, Vargas was traded to the Los Angeles Angels. He pitched in 24 games in 2013 and he finished the season with a 9-8 record and a 4.02 ERA.
Vargas signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Kansas City Royals in November, 2013. He finished the 2014 season with an 11-10 record, 128 strikeouts to 41 walks, and a 3.71 ERA in 187.0 innings in 30 games. In the postseason, he pitched 15.1 innings in 3 games and he gave up 11 hits, 6 runs, and 3 home runs to finish with a 3.52 ERA.
Vargas had Tommy John surgery in July, 2015. He pitched in just nine games in 2015 and he had a 5-2 record, 27 strikeouts to 12 walks, and a 3.98 ERA in 43.0 innings.
Vargas spent most of the 2016 season recovering from his surgery. He pitched just 12.0 innings in three games with the Royals.
In 2017, Vargas had a 4.16 ERA in 32 games with the Royals. He finished the season with a career high 18 wins and 11 losses and 134 strikeouts to 58 walksin 179.2 innings. His 18 wins was tied with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Clayton Kershaw for the most in major league baseball.
Vargas elected free agency on November 2, 2017.
Career pitching statistics for Vargas through 2017 include:
- 248 games played
- 1,401.1 innings pitched
- 85-81 win-loss record
- 939 strikeouts to 415 walks
- 4.17 ERA