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Claudio Vargas Almonte (born on June 19, 1978, in Valverde Mao, Dominican Republicmarker) is a Major League Baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. In the past, he has started games and also pitched in both middle and long relief.

Minor league career

Vargas was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Florida Marlins in 1995 at age 16 and made his professional debut with the Marlins Dominican Summer League team, where he played in 1996 and 1997. In 1998 he pitched for the rookie league Gulf Coast Marlins and the Class-A Brevard County Manatees. He continued to pitch in the Marlins system through 2001 with the Kane County Cougars, Portland Sea Dogs and Calgary Cannons.

On July 11, 2002, he was traded by the Marlins (along with Wilton Guerrero, Cliff Floyd and cash) to the Montreal Expos for Donald Levinski, Justin Wayne, Carl Pavano, Mike Mordecai and Graeme Lloyd. In the Expos minor league system he pitched for the Harrisburg Senators and Edmonton Trappers.

Major league career

Vargas made his Major League debut on April 26, 2003, against the Houston Astros and recorded his first victory in a 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. He made 23 appearances (20 starts) for the Expos in 2003, with a 6-8 record and 4.34 ERA. In 2004 he appeared in 45 games (only 14 starts) and went 5-5 with a 5.25 ERA.

He signed as a free agent with the Washington Nationals before the 2005 season but the Nationals designated him for assignment after he went 0-3 with a 17.55 ERA at the start of the season. He was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 3 and went 9-6 with a 4.81 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) for the Diamondbacks the rest of the season. He remained with the team for the 2006 season and turned in a solid season, 12-10, 4.83 ERA in 30 starts.

In November 2006, Vargas was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers along with pitcher Greg Aquino and catcher Johnny Estrada, for outfielder Dave Krynzel, and pitchers Dana Eveland and Doug Davis.

In March 2008, Vargas was released by the Brewers after struggling in 2007 with a 11-6 record and 5.09 ERA in 23 starts (29 total appearances). In April, he was signed to a minor league deal with the New York Mets. In his Mets debut on May 14, 2008, he received a standing ovation from the Shea Stadiummarker crowd, giving up only 2 earned runs and 3 hits, despite the loss to the Washington Nationals. Vargas was designated for assignment in June and spent the rest of the season in the minors.

In January 2009, Vargas signed a 1-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation during spring training, however, he suffered an arm injury and began the season on the 60-day disabled list. After spending the first three months of the season on the DL, he was activated by the Dodgers on July 3.

Vargas pitched in middle relief for the Dodgers, until he was traded on July 31 to the Milwaukee Brewers for Minor League catcher Vinny Rottino.

References

  1. The Official Site of The Arizona Diamondbacks: News: D-backs pull off six-player swap
  2. MetsBlog.com ¬Ľ News: Mets Sign Claudio Vargas
  3. Dodgers agree to terms with pitcher Claudio Vargas on one-year deal
  4. Brewers Acquire RHP Claudio Vargas from Dodgers


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