One day after trading for Marcus Stroman, the Mets are staying busy. Now, they have struck a deal with the Phillies that sends starting pitcher Jason Vargas and cash consdedrations to Philadelphia in exchange for minor-league catcher Austin Bossart. Both sides have announced the move:
#Phillies have acquired LHP Jason Vargas and cash considerations from the New York Mets in exchange for C Austin Bossart. pic.twitter.com/kWp521UMan— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 29, 2019
The Mets are responsible for paying Vargas his remaining 2019 salary, plus a $250K assignment bonus. The Phillies will be in charge of covering his 2020 option, whether it be exercising it for $8 million or buying it out for $2 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
Told #Mets are saving $2M in trade of Vargas and $ to #Phillies— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 29, 2019
Vargas, 36, was a second-round selection of the Marlins in 2004. He made his big-league debut in 2005. In 2007, he was traded to the Mets, but he spent just one year with them before missing the 2008 season and being traded to the Mariners in a three-team, 12-player deal. He spent four seasons in Seattle before being traded to the Los Angeles Angels ahead of the 2013 season. After a year with the Halos, he signed with the Kansas City Royals, spending four years with them (including an All-Star campaign in 2017 when he led the league with 18 wins) and signing with the Mets in 2018. In 19 games this year, Vargas is 6-5 with a 4.01 ERA. He has allowed 45 runs on 81 hits in 94.1 innings, surrendering 14 homers and 39 walks while striking out 81 batters.
Bossart, meanwhile, is a 26-year-old catcher taken by the Phillies in the 14th round of the 2015 draft. In 63 games at Double-A this year, he has slashed .195/.303/.335 with 28 runs knocked in on 39 hits, including seven home runs. He has also drawn 30 walks and recorded 47 strikeouts. While his numbers at the plate aren’t extremely appealing, it’s worth noting he is a talented defensive catcher, so if he can get his bat to complement his glove, he will be in the majors in no time. (What’s also worth noting is that Bossart is a former teammate of Bradley Wilpon, the son of Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. The two played together at the University of Pennsylvania.)
Don’t look now, but the days leading up to the trade deadline are heating up.