Another member from the Royals championship run is officially leaving Kansas City.
Multiple reports from New York on Friday said left-hander Jason Vargas has agreed to a two-year contract with the New York Mets. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that the deal is worth $16 million, includes $1.5 million in incentives and is pending a physical.
The Royals didn’t extend a qualifying offer to Vargas after the 2017 season, so they won’t receive any compensation for Vargas signing with the Mets.
In New York, Vargas will be reunited with pitching coach Dave Eiland, who was let go by the Royals after last season and joined the Mets.
Vargas tied for the major-league lead with 18 wins in 2017 when he made the first All-Star appearance of his 12-year career. Vargas, who had a 4.16 ERA, was the first Royals pitcher to win 18 games since Kevin Appier in 1993.
It was a Jekyll and Hyde year for Vargas.
In his first 16 starts, Vargas had a 12-3 record with a 2.22 ERA and opponents hit just .237 against him. Over the next two months, Vargas had a 7.20 ERA, but he won four starts in September.
Vargas signed a four-year contract with the Royals ahead of the 2014 season, and he made three postseason starts that year during Kansas City’s run to the World Series.
In Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Angels, Vargas allowed two runs in six innings and the Royals won 3-2 in 11 innings. Vargas was the winning pitcher in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series as the Royals completed a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 2-1 win. He gave up one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings.
During the 2015 season, Vargas injured his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery, and he missed the postseason. He returned to make three starts the following year.
This will be Vargas’ second stint with the Mets. The first was brief as he was beset with injuries and made two appearances in 2007.
In his 12 seasons with the Royals, Mets, Marlins, Mariners and Angels, Vargas has a 85-81 record with a 4.17 ERA. In his four seasons with the Royals, Vargas was 34-23 with a 3.88 ERA in 74 starts.
Vargas is the second Royals player from the 2014-15 teams to leave the team this winter. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain signed a five-year, $80 million contract last month with the Milwaukee Brewers.