Mariners Insider

Updated: The MLB trade deadline passes with Jason Vargas, Kevin Millwood remaining with the Mariners

Post by Ryan Divish on July 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm with 2 Comments »
July 31, 2012 2:53 pm
AP photo

It’s now 1:10 p.m., the MLB trade deadline has passed and the Mariners did not make any more trades today.  That means Jason Vargas will start tonight and Kevin Millwood will make his next start and Chone Figgins will be on the bench tonight.

Ok, it’s not like Figgins was going to get traded.

“We had discussion like we always do,” Zduriencik said. “There were certainly general managers calling and wanting to talk about different things.  But you are not in a position to give to players in a way. And we’re just aren’t going to to do that. If there wasn’t a real nice match, then I wasn’t motivated to do something that would take away from where we currently are at.”

As for Vargas and Millwood, they just weren’t as coveted. Teams were more interested in Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster and others.

Millwood obviously isn’t a part of the Mariners’ long range plans.

But the bigger question is whether Vargas should be a part of those plans?

Now that he’s staying, would you offer Vargas a contract extension, say three years at $7 or $8 million per year.

Vargas is making $4.85 million this year. And realistically, he could make 8 million next year in his final year of arbitration. After that he becomes a free agent. So that extension would be fair.

Could Vargas get more than that on the free agent market in a few years? It’s possible. But he seems to like it here and has hinted at the possibility of wanting to stay. We all know what Vargas is and isn’t. He’s a No.3 or No. 4 starter that is outstanding in Safeco and average on the road and doesn’t miss his starts. Would that  be worth $7 or $8 million per year? Well, they are playing a $9 million a year for a “super utility” player that never plays.

While everyone loves to talk about Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, the Mariners do need some pitchers to fill out the rotation and Vargas fits.

I’m honestly not sure what I would do with Vargas. But it appears, at this point, his value to the Mariners is far greater than his value to everyone else.

“Every player has a value to some degree to the club he’s on,” Zduriencik said. “In our particular case, we have a pitcher that has thrown 200 innings last year and he’s on his way to do that this year. He’s having a real nice season. He’s been very effective for us. He’s a very dependable guy, day in and day out.”

“I think we are comfortable with him and I think he’s comfortable here,” Zduriencik said.

Comfortable enough for an extension?

“You know no matter what you have Jason back one way or the other,” Zduriencik said. “To go public with what we are going to do, it’s just been my policy to keep it close to the vest. The one thing you do know is that you have him for next year. I think when you look at what you might be on your club next year – some of the young guys – that some guys with leadership and some guys with experience will be important.”

Should the Mariners sign Jason Vargas to a reasonable contract extension?

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  1. Honestly, as an M’s fan yesterday, today as well as in future years, I’m thrilled the M’s didn’t deal Vargas and Millwood. The last two years we’ve dealt pitching at the trade deadline. It’s unsettled the rotation, made a bad season unwatchable. Further, unless the M’s threw in one of their big three pitching prospects it’s unlikely they were going to get any kind of impact bat. I’m not sure I’m there yet.

    Absolutely offer Vargas an extension. He’s a workhorse kind of pitcher who’s gotten better each year. Not the best, but certainly a middle of the rotation kind of pitcher that wants to stay in Seattle.

  2. I wouldn’t extend Vargas at this time. If he has a good August and September, offer him three years at the going rate, up to $21m; if he insists on more, it would have to be based on IP, etc.

    I like his mound presence. He’s kind of a banty rooster out there, insisting that the hill belongs to him, even when he’s in a bad stretch of games.

    Now at least there’s potential for a decent August for the M’s, even though the competition will be stiffer than recently.

    Once last thought: people do get traded after the deadline from time to time. Millwood’s the top candidate to clear waivers, I think.

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