KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Royals have agreed to a four-year contract with left-hander Jason Vargas in an attempt to fill the void in their rotation created by Ervin Santana's free agency.
Vargas was 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 24 starts for the Angels last season. He was 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA before going on the disabled list with a blood clot in his arm that required surgery.
Kansas City was searching for a veteran to replace Santana, another former Angels pitcher who rediscovered himself in Kansas City. Santana went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA last season, driving up his price in free agency to the point where the Royals were unlikely to sign him.
Vargas isn't the sort of splashy signing that will make Royals fans salivate, but he does solidify the back end of what's expected to be a young rotation.
KANSAS CITY, MO (November 21, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have agreed to terms with free agent left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas on a four-year Major League contract upon completion of a physical, which he passed today. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Vargas, 30, went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 24 starts with the Los Angeles Angels last season, recording 109 strikeouts in 150.0 innings. He tallied a pair of shutouts, making him one of just eight American League pitchers to collect multiple shutouts during the 2013 season. The left-handed hurler was named A.L. Pitcher of the Month in May, going 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA in six starts, his second monthly award in the last two years. Vargas has tossed five shutouts over the last three seasons, which is tied with former teammate Felix Hernandez for fifth in the Major Leagues in that span.
A workhorse throughout his career, Vargas has logged 568.1 innings over the last three seasons, including a career high 217.1 frames for Seattle in 2012, which were the most by a left-handed pitcher that season. His nine complete games since the start of 2011 are tied for fifth-most in the Major Leagues, including second-most among southpaws. He set career bests in wins (14), starts (33), innings pitched (217.1), strikeouts (141), WHIP (1.18) and quality starts (22) during the 2012 season with Seattle.
Vargas and his wife, Shelley, reside in Phoenix, Ariz., with their son, Joshua, and daughter, Elizabeth.