Royals starter Jason Vargas underwent Tommy John surgery last August and was given a timetable of 14 months, which was also given to Luke Hochevar last season and Tim Collins for this season. As such, the Royals aren’t expecting him to contribute, even if he’s ready for a potential postseason push in October, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.
Vargas, 33, is signed through 2017, earning $8.5 million this season and $8 million next. Last season, the lefty posted a 3.98 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 12 walks across 43 innings before hitting the shelf with his elbow injury.
Over the offseason, the Royals added Ian Kennedy and Mike Minor, re-signed Chris Young, and added a handful of pitchers on minor league deals in an attempt to maintain starting rotation depth.
Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals and free agent catcher Matt Wieters have agreed on a one-year, $2 million deal. Wieters can earn an additional $1 million through incentives.
Wieters, 33, spent last season with the Cardinals as Yadier Molina‘s backup. In 67 games, the veteran hit .214/.268/.435 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI. While Wieters has left something to be desired offensively in recent years, he still plays solid defense behind the plate.
Wieters will once again serve as the backup to Molina. Catching prospect Andrew Knizner is expected to start the season at Triple-A Memphis.