Utilityman Ildemaro Vargas and right-hander Chris Devenski have elected to become free agents, as reported by the official transaction pages for Triple-A West (for Vargas) and MLB.com (for Devenski). The two 30-year-olds both finished the 2021 season with the Diamondbacks.
Vargas was outrighted off Arizona’s roster earlier this week, and since he’d been previously outrighted earlier this week, Vargas had the option of either accepting the assignment to Triple-A or choosing to become a free agent. He’ll now hit the open market and could be on the move again after a whirlwind 14 months that saw Vargas play for three different teams (the Twins, Cubs, and Pirates) in between two stints with the D’Backs.
Vargas received 211 plate appearances while playing in 92 games with Arizona in 2019, hitting .269/.299/.413. He hasn’t matched even that modest production since, posting only a .477 OPS over 137 total PA in 2020-21.
Devenski signed a minor league contract with the D’Backs last winter and made it to their big league roster, but delivered only an 8.59 ERA over 7 1/3 relief innings. A tough season got worse due to Tommy John surgery around early June, and Devenski will now be sidelined until at least (in a best-case scenario) the 2022 All-Star break.
It is the second elbow injury in as many seasons for Devenski, who was limited to 3 2/3 innings in 2020 due to an arthroscopic procedure. The former Astros reliever has been in decline since his 2017 All-Star season, and now faces a very uncertain winter. Depending on when he recovers and is able to showcase himself for scouts, Devenski might conceivably have to wait until the 2022-23 offseason before landing his next contract.