Chicago Cubs: Three free agent starting pitching options in wake of Quintana injury

Jose Quintana / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Jose Quintana / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The darkest of dark-horses

Last on this list is a guy who has extensive major league experience, and that is 37-year-old Jason Vargas. Of the three on this list, Vargas would most certainly be the cheapest option. From 2014-17, Vargas was a strong rotational piece posting a 3.88 ERA over 421 2/3 innings. For a guy in his mid-30s at the time, that isn’t terrible by any stretch.

After a lackluster 2018 campaign with the New York Mets, Vargas rebounded for the club last season before being shipped to Philadelphia. In 94 1/3 innings for in New York, he posted a 4.01 ERA and held opposing hitters to a lackluster .228 average. Vargas kept his strikeout rate at a steady 20.8 percent and kept the free passes just north of ten percent.

Suggesting Vargas as a possible option is simply a stopgap with the Quintana news. He would not require a lot of money and could be added to the roster without issue. He would also provide another left-handed arm in the wake of Quintana’s absence, even if for just a few starts.

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At this point in his career, Vargas epitomizes the label of “that guy?” to fans when he has a reliable performance. As the Cubs are more than aware of being beaten by less-than-stellar pitchers every year, Vargas could step into that role for the Cubs and hand those hard-to-swallow losses out to the rest of the league.