Veteran righty Claudio Vargas was signed yesterday to add depth to the Dodgers' rotation and compete for a possible starting rotation spot. The deal is only for a year and for the minimum $400,000, but could be bumped up more with incentives.
I can't help but think of last year when the Dodgers signed Chan Ho Park in very similar fashion and I couldn't stop laughing at how ridiculous it was. Then he went out and appeared in 54 games with 5 starts, and posted a 4-4 record and 3.40 ERA. Obviously, a minor signing turned out to help them big time, and he was great pitching out of the bullpen and in spot starts.
So, maybe it can happen again with Vargas. And if any team can make it happen, it's the Dodgers. They've done it with guys like Jose Lima, Wilson Alvarez, and Park. From my fantasy baseball playing days, I know that Vargas was once a promising rookie with the Montreal Expos a few years back, but that never panned out.
With Brad Penny gone to the Red Sox and Derek Lowe probably to the Mets, the Dodgers have to try to replace them. Vargas won't set the world on fire, but like I've pointed out before, maybe the Dodgers can continue to rebuild broken down pitchers into getting a solid season out of them.