Phils acquire Vargas from Mets to bolster rotation

The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired left-hander Jason Vargas in a trade Monday with the division rival New York Mets.

The Mets received minor league catcher Austin Bossart in the deal, which could help improve a Phillies starting rotation that has struggled throughout the season.

The Phillies also received cash considerations. Vargas is owed $2,666,667 of his $8 million salary for the remainder of this season, and his contract includes an $8 million club option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout.

Vargas, 36, is 6-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 19 games — 18 starts — this season. The 14-year veteran got off to a terrible start but has fared better over the past two months, going 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA over his last 12 starts.

The Phillies (55-50) are 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves (62-44) in the National League East despite entering Monday with a 4.59 combined ERA for their starting pitchers, the fifth-worst mark in the league.

The move also marks the second substantial trade in as many days for the Mets, who bolstered their pitching depth Sunday by acquiring star right-hander Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Vargas made headlines earlier this season when he threatened to fight a reporter during a testy postgame exchange in the clubhouse.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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