Vargas DFA’d (And There Was Much Rejoicing)

MLB: April 22th, 2010

Yesterday was Chris Capuano‘s much-reported “out date,” on which he could declare free agency if the Brewers had no plans to add him to the 25-man roster.  We found out last night that Cappy is returning to the big league club, but what we didn’t know was what the corresponding roster move would be.

Well, now we know.  According to Tyler Barnes, the Brewers are designating Claudio Vargas for assignment. 

It’s a move that makes sense and kills two birds with one stone — not only do they clear the 25-man roster spot for Cappy, but he can also take Vargas’ spot on the already-full 40-man roster.  Even more conveniently, Capuano probably takes over Vargas’ role as long reliever, unless the idea is to replace Manny Parra or Chris Narveson in the rotation.  I don’t know how the Doug Melvin bashers could find a way to complain about this move, but I’m going to bet they’re going to find a way to criticize him for this move, too, if Capuano is less than sharp.

Vargas is no big loss — he simply hasn’t been very good this year.  His BB/9 is up to 4.58, he has a WHIP of 1.93, and opponents are hitting him at a .335 clip.  To his credit, he’s not as bad as his 7.32 ERA (his FIP is 4.77), but this was most definitely the most obvious move to make when it came to making room for Capuano.  The Brewers will have 10 days to trade or release him, but it seems unlikely that anyone would want to give up anything in exchange for a reliever that can’t get anyone out right now.  At least the Brewers won’t have to eat that much in salary — Vargas is only making $900,000 this season.

It’ll likely be a couple days before we see Capuano pitch for the Brewers — he started last night for Nashville and threw 4 innings — but it’s still great to see him make the complete comeback to the majors.  Whether or not he’ll have the same effectiveness he did in the mid-2000’s is yet to be determined, but just making it back to the majors after a second Tommy John surgery is a huge accomplishment in itself.

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