Spring training might be underway, but that doesn’t mean the New York Mets are done adding to their 2018 roster.
It’s easy to forget, but Jason Vargas once pitched for the New York Mets. Back in 2007, the then-24-year-old made two starts for the Amazin’s, going 0-1 with a 12.19 ERA and 1.84 WHIP, allowing 14 earned runs and 17 hits—including four home runs—in just 10.1 innings.
He’d miss the 2008 season after undergoing hip surgery and was ultimately included in the three-team trade that landed the Mets Sean Green, J.J. Putz, and Jeremy Reed. According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets are interested in bringing the now-35-year-old back to Flushing.
Mets still have solid interest in LHP Jason Vargas, who was with pitching coach Dave Eiland in Kansas City the last few years.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) February 15, 2018
Vargas spent the past four years pitching under new Mets’ pitching coach Dave Eiland‘s watchful eye in Kansas City, going a combined 34-23 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Last season, he went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Those 18 wins found Vargas tied with Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw for the MLB lead.
He’s not an ace by any stretch, but Vargas can certainly be a solid No. 4 or No. 5 starter for the Mets in 2018.
Speaking of the rotation…
Mickey Callaway Is Giddy
Callaway, who served as Cleveland’s pitching coach for the past five seasons and had a first-hand look at Carrasco and Kluber dominating the competition, can’t believe how good his rotation looks this spring.
“I’ve got to sit there and watch bullpens in the last week and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Callaway told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. “The amount of very good arms and quality stuff we have in this Mets organization, I promise you nobody else has that. I have been around some pretty good arms and this is the best group of arms and stuff that I’ve ever seen, from top to bottom. It’s really amazing. Dave Eiland and I are coming in and are like ‘this is unbelievable.’”
That’s high praise considering the arms Callaway has coached in the past, but it’s not entirely surprising to hear him wax poetic. The Mets’ rotation has long been viewed as uber-talented, but simply too oft-injured to ever reach its potential.
Perhaps 2018 will be the year that everything comes together.
Dominic Smith Has Disappeared…Sort Of
Taking shots at Smith’s weight quickly became a favorite pastime for Mets fans as the hefty rookie struggled, both at the plate and in the field, in his first taste of the big leagues last season.
Truth be told, it wasn’t all out of line. Smith looked out of shape and it was hard not to connect the dots, ending at the conclusion that his extra girth was hurting his overall game.
From the looks of things, however, those shots are going to have to stop—because Smith looks to be in fantastic shape.
.@TheRealSmith22 has arrived! ? #SpringTraining pic.twitter.com/ER9J9ZBQbU
— New York Mets (@Mets) February 12, 2018
While odds are still against him cracking camp as the Opening Day first baseman due to Adrian Gonzalez‘s presence, the svelter Smith looks like a new man. If that translates into increased production on the field, the Mets may still have their first baseman of the future.
Other Mets News, Stories
- ESNY’s Justin Birnbaum takes us through Jacob deGrom‘s new post-haircut reality.
- ESNY’s Nicholas Santuccio says adding another cost-effective starter would put the cherry on the Mets’ offseason.