BY SPNW Staff 12:13PM 07/27/2012

Poll: Should The Mariners Trade Jason Vargas?

Lefty Jason Vargas does not want the Seattle Mariners to trade him, but Vargas may never have greater trade value than he does right now.

Jason Vargas - Seattle Mariners - 2010 - 3

Jason Vargas is 4-0 in five July starts and 3-0, 1.80 since the All-Star break. / Ben Van Houten, Mariners

There is much speculation the Mariners will deal LHP Jason Vargas before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Vargas said after his latest start Thursday, a 4-1 win over Kansas City, that he hopes the Mariners won’t trade him. But the club will probably never get more from Vargas than they could get now. He’s reached his maximum value.

Vargas is 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA in five July starts and, more impressively, 10-2, 2.67 in 14 starts after a Mariners’ loss. He’s also tossed six consecutive quality outings, something that not even Felix Hernandez has done this season.

Another reason Vargas’ value is high: although he’s a career 24-23, 4.09 pitcher in the first half, he’s just 15-23, 4.84 in the second half. However, this season he’s 3-0, 1.80 since the All-Star break, and won’t become a free agent for more than a year.

Teams in contention that have a need to bolster pitching for the stretch run, an event that hasn’t occurred in Seattle in more than a decade, will find Vargas an enticing candidate. To a lesser degree, same goes for Kevin Millwood, even though he hasn’t won since May 23, and Brandon League, who lost his closer’s job to Tom Wilhelmsen, but hasn’t allowed an earned run in seven appearances since July 6.

The trouble with trading Vargas, especially, is that he’s 29 years old, has never pitched better than now (already a career-high 11 victories) and has developed into a solid No. 2 in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez.

But as John Hickey pointed out in a recent Sportspress Northwest post, the young pitching — Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker – that the Mariners are counting on isn’t ready yet.

The Mariners would receive more for Vargas than they would for either League or Millwood, especially given Vargas’ recent outings. But they’d lose more as well. Question is whether that even matters with the Mariners going nowhere this season, and probably next season as well.

Vargas made it plain after Thursday’s game that he doesn’t want to be traded, saying, “This is where I want to stay. This is a great city, I love the organization, I love my teammates, I love the staff — I can’t say any more than that. It’s home to me.”


YourThoughts

  • http://twitter.com/tyrell418 Tyrell Osborne

    I love Vargas, but if we could get a good bat for him then hell year, if not, i hope he’ll take a pay cut and we keep him

  • http://twitter.com/tyrell418 Tyrell Osborne

    I love Vargas, but if we could get a good bat for him then hell year, if not, i hope he’ll take a pay cut and we keep him

  • notaboomer

    there must be a .195 ss and a .205 1B out there just waiting for the Ms.  go for it!

    • sportspressnw

      Brandon Belt.

  • notaboomer

    there must be a .195 ss and a .205 1B out there just waiting for the Ms.  go for it!

    • sportspressnw

      Brandon Belt.

  • Tian Biao

    No! No! No!. A team needs five good starters, and we only have two, so why trade one of them? makes no sense. Anyway without pitchers the ball would just sit on the mound and the game would never start, which in the case of these particular Ms is maybe not such a bad idea. 

  • Tian Biao

    No! No! No!. A team needs five good starters, and we only have two, so why trade one of them? makes no sense. Anyway without pitchers the ball would just sit on the mound and the game would never start, which in the case of these particular Ms is maybe not such a bad idea. 

  • Pkeegan21

    He would not need a pay cut if we keep him his salary is not that high.  If we can trade him to say Baltimore or Cincy and get a good prospect in return, say Manny Machado why not.  We still have Ramirez who is ready and about to come back from rehab as well as Carraway who has settled down in Tacoma.  Add those two to the big three coming up and Felix and there is no future in seattle for Vargas unfortunatly

  • Pkeegan21

    He would not need a pay cut if we keep him his salary is not that high.  If we can trade him to say Baltimore or Cincy and get a good prospect in return, say Manny Machado why not.  We still have Ramirez who is ready and about to come back from rehab as well as Carraway who has settled down in Tacoma.  Add those two to the big three coming up and Felix and there is no future in seattle for Vargas unfortunatly

  • RadioGuy

    Vargas has won 30 games in 2+ seasons for a team that will have finished last each year.  Beyond Felix, he’s been the most reliable starter in Seattle.  And he’s a lefty.  I’m a little lukewarm on signing him for $10 million a year but as things stand right now, he’s worth keeping around.

  • RadioGuy

    Vargas has won 30 games in 2+ seasons for a team that will have finished last each year.  Beyond Felix, he’s been the most reliable starter in Seattle.  And he’s a lefty.  I’m a little lukewarm on signing him for $10 million a year but as things stand right now, he’s worth keeping around.

  • jafabian

    If Safeco is such a terrible place to hit, as some have suggested, then the park can make an average pitcher look great.  Why not trade Vargas, call up a player and get some hitters who can hit in Safeco?  Stands to reason that is the need right now. The club found Millwood off the scrap heap and he’s done okay.  But a good hitter is hard to find it seems.

  • jafabian

    If Safeco is such a terrible place to hit, as some have suggested, then the park can make an average pitcher look great.  Why not trade Vargas, call up a player and get some hitters who can hit in Safeco?  Stands to reason that is the need right now. The club found Millwood off the scrap heap and he’s done okay.  But a good hitter is hard to find it seems.

  • Will

    The real question is, should Seattle bother having a MLB team? 

    According to baseball-reference.com

    the Mariners overall record, from 1977 to 2012 is 2633 wins and 3013 losses with only 4 playoff appearances.

    Pathetic.

  • Will

    The real question is, should Seattle bother having a MLB team? 

    According to baseball-reference.com

    the Mariners overall record, from 1977 to 2012 is 2633 wins and 3013 losses with only 4 playoff appearances.

    Pathetic.

  • PokeyPuffy

    @ Will, agree!  another question:  Where’s the Hawks camp coverage? We got us a good ole fashioned quarterback controversy, where’s the details?  Too much Mariner’s, its been over for 3 months now, no one is interested…
     

  • PokeyPuffy

    @ Will, agree!  another question:  Where’s the Hawks camp coverage? We got us a good ole fashioned quarterback controversy, where’s the details?  Too much Mariner’s, its been over for 3 months now, no one is interested…
     

  • Bayviewherb

    It is way past time for the mariners to stop trading future sjuper stars. If they truly want to rebuild, then extend both contracts for Felix and Vargas.

  • Bayviewherb

    It is way past time for the mariners to stop trading future sjuper stars. If they truly want to rebuild, then extend both contracts for Felix and Vargas.