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Phillies decline 2020 options for Vargas, Hughes


Jason Vargas struggled with the Phillies. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies have declined the 2020 options for starting pitcher Jason Vargas and relief pitcher Jared Hughes.

The Phillies acquired Vargas two days before the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for minor league catcher Austin Bossart. This was after the team heavily overestimated both its major league talent and organizational depth in the rotation.

In 11 starts with the team, Vargas went 1-4 with a 5.37 ERA. He was often ineffective and at the price of $8 million, it didn’t make sense for the team to bring him back in 2020.

Hughes was acquired in mid-August via waiver claim after injuries devastated much of the Phillies bullpen. In 25 appearances with the team, he pitched to a 3.91 ERA and allowed seven home runs in 23 innings. He was reliable from an innings eating perspective, but did not perform well enough to justify paying him $3 million next season.

The Phillies also announced that it had outrighted utility infielder Phil Gosselin, starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff, along with relief pitchers Edubray Ramos, Mike Morin and Blake Parker. All five will become free agents. The Phillies are certain to sign help for both the rotation and bullpen in free agency this winter as they look to contend in 2020.

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