LA Angels Should Target Jason Vargas

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Jason Vargas /

The LA Angels, as we all know, have struggled with pitching the past few years. Starting pitching in particular has been tough given all of the injuries the rotation has dealt with. However, reuniting with an old friend may be the best move the Halos can make.

The LA Angels have money to spend in free agency thanks to Josh Hamilton no longer being paid not to play. While the Halos will undoubtedly target big names like Mike Moustakas, it is the small signings that make playoff teams true contenders.

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Last season, Jason Vargas turned in an All-Star season for the Kansas City Royals, the first of his career. Now a free agent, he could be a valuable signings for a number of teams. While he did finish the 2017 season with a 4.16 ERA, he still held an 18-11 record on the season.

Vargas’ season is split up into halves when it comes to performance level. In the first half of the season, he owned every game he started. He went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 17 starts. However, in his final 15 starts, he held a 6.38 ERA en route to a 6-8 record.

However, that first half should be enough for the Halos to make an offer to the 34-year-old. Vargas is not a strikeout king, and never has been. He instead prefers to let his defense do the work and trust them to make outs. The Angels currently sport one of the best defenses in the league, with four Gold Glove finalists (two winners) and Mike Trout taking the field every day.

If the Halos could bring in Vargas to compete for a starting job, he could bring immense value. Even if he cannot win a starting role in Spring Training, he would still provide valuable insurance should Matt Shoemaker or JC Ramirez have setbacks in their recoveries.

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The Angels have the cap space to chase stars. However, Billy Eppler loves his sneaky signings, and Vargas could be his best one yet should the Angels general manager decide to offer him.