Pitcher Jason Vargas and New York Mets agree to $16 million, 2-year deal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All-Star pitcher Jason Vargas and the New York Mets have reportedly agreed to a $16 million, two-year contract Friday.

The deal is pending a physical, a person familiar with the agreement told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

Another person familiar with the contract said it includes an $8 million club option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout, and Vargas can earn up to $1.5 million each year in performance bonuses. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical and had not been announced.

Jason Vargas #51 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium on June 24, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Vargas went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA for Kansas City last season, making his first All-Star team and tying for the major league lead in wins. He faded in the second half, however, and the 35-year-old lefty had been among more than 85 free agents seeking a job as spring training opened this week.

Vargas had his left elbow ligament replaced in 2015 and made just three starts in 2016 before throwing 179 2/3 innings over 32 outings last season.

Before getting injured, Vargas was 5-2 with a 3.98 ERA in nine starts for the 2015 Royals team that beat the Mets in the World Series. He did not pitch in the playoffs that year, but went 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA over three postseason starts for Kansas City in 2014.

Vargas is 85-81 with a 4.17 ERA in 12 big league seasons with the Marlins, Mets, Mariners, Angels and Royals. He surpassed 192 innings each year from 2010-12 and threw 187 in 2014.

The left-hander made two starts for the Mets in 2007, going 0-1 with a 12.19 ERA. He missed the 2008 season because of a torn labrum in his hip.

Vargas was 12-3 with a 2.22 ERA after winning his seventh straight start on June 30 last year. His ERA rose to 4.23 when he lost his fourth in a row on Sept. 5, but then he won four of his final five outings.

With the Mets, Vargas would get $250,000 each for 160, 170, 180, 190, 200 and 210 innings pitched. The contract also includes a $250,000 assignment bonus if he’s traded.

The agreement was first reported by FanRag Sports, and the contract terms were first reported by MLB.com.