Phillies rumors: Five low-cost starting pitching options still available

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CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 25: Starting pitcher Jason Vargas #51 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 25, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 25: Starting pitcher Jason Vargas #51 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 25, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Jason Vargas

2017 was Jason Vargas’s first full season since 2014 after missing time in 2015 and 2016 due to Tommy John surgery. He started off the year extremely well with a 2.22 ERA and 3.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 16 starts through the end of June, making all the time the Royals had to wait seem worth it.

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After June, things went south quickly for Vargas. In his last 16 starts, his ERA ballooned to 6.66 with a walk rate of 9.7 percent and opposing batting average of .293.

This second-half collapse make his end-of-year numbers look average as a whole, but it certainly puts a damper on his potential as a free agent. Plus, Vargas will be 35 years old this season, significantly older than any other Phillie.

Offering Vargas any sort of multi-year contract would be a terrible idea.

Next: Phillies top seasons by position last 50 years

On the other hand, that fact could be what makes Vargas a cheap option for the Phillies. As mentioned earlier, they need a left-handed starter to break things up a little bit, which Vargas is.

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