Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines announced that they have agreed to a one-year deal with first baseman Kennys Vargas (h/t YakyuDB.com). The burly switch-hitter is said to be earning approximately $1.5MM in the pact. Vargas is a client of Rep 1 Baseball.
Still just 28 years of age, Vargas failed to crack the big leagues in 2018 after seeing at least some action in each of the prior four campaigns. He bounced around the waiver wire at the outset of the season but spent most of the year off of the 40-man roster, playing at Triple-A Rochester. The Twins organization which had employed him since 2009, recently released Vargas, who’d have qualified for minor-league free agency unless he was added back to the MLB roster.
Vargas did not turn in his most useful campaign in the upper minors in 2018. In the past, though, he has at times put up intriguing numbers. At his best, Vargas blends an excellent eye at the plate with good power, though his raw strength has never really shone through with eye-popping slugging numbers. In 859 MLB plate appearances, he owns a .252/.311/.437 slash with 35 long balls.