Every season has at least one. A veteran pitcher that has a breakout season, warranting a mid season trade to a contender. This season, that pitcher is Kansas City left-hander Jason Vargas. In 12 starts, Vargas has a 2.18 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP. Not really a strikeout pitcher, Vargas has 59 strikeouts in 74.1 innings of work.
In his last start against the Astros, he was okay. In the 7-5 Royals win, Vargas gave up two earned runs on six hits, including a Brian McCann home run, and a walk, striking out five.
Those numbers are very nice. He would be a nice fit in the Astros rotation as a No. 3 starter. However, the thing that Astros fans should be worried about is the price to get him. The Royals are looking to sell at this deadline and want to start rebuilding their farm system. Vargas, with his stellar season thus far, may be very expensive for a soft-tosser like he is.
Also, this is his first full season in which Vargas has had long-term success in terms of ERA. With a career ERA at 4.06, he has only had under a 4.00 ERA three times in his career. In all three of those seasons, his ERA was over 3.70.
Vargas could be in for a rough second half if his career stats say anything. The Astros may not want to be the team to take a chance on Vargas, especially with the steep price.