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2023 Diamondbacks Reviews: #44 Carlos Vargas

A potential bullpen option to start the year, but Vargas struggled with control issues in the majors and minors left him on the outside looking in.

Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Overview

  • Rating: 3.30
  • 2023 stats: 5 G, 8 IP, 5.79 ERA, 9.04 FIP, 1.929 WHIP, 1.75 SO/BB, 81 ERA+
  • Date of birth: October 13th, 1999 (24 years old)

2023 earnings: $69,768 (via Spotrac)

  • 2024 status: Traded to the Seattle Mariners (11/22)

Introduction & 2023 review

After a season in which the D-backs bullpen averaged the second-slowest fastball velocity in the MLB, Mike Hazen made it a priority to increase that figure, and Carlos Vargas was one of the options brought on by the club to do that. In November 2022, the D-backs acquired Vargas for minor-leaguer Scott Carver and immediately added him to the 40-man roster with plans to have him start the year out of the bullpen.

It was easy to see why. His sinker sits 97-101mph and adds a plus slider sitting 90-93mph. Vargas earned a spot on the big-league roster with an excellent spring training, an ERA under 3 and a 13:4 K:BB ratio.

Unfortunately for him, the good stopped there. Vargas allowed runs in three of five appearances and walked almost a batter per inning. After his last outing against the Brewers, the D-backs optioned him down to Reno and he stayed there for the rest of the year, save for two separate recalls in which he saw no playing time.

His time in the minors was more of the same as his MLB time, as he had a 36:32 ratio in his 42.1IP, allowing a 7.02 ERA in Reno, and was a threat to be left off the 40-man roster this offseason. But, he remained on the team and was expected to again compete for a bullpen spot.

2024 outlook

His time as a bullpen option for Arizona did not last long as Vargas was one of the players sent to Seattle to complete the Eugenio Suarez trade along with Seby Zavala. He was added to the Mariners 40-man roster and will compete for a spot in that bullpen.