Brewers say Vargas deal is close

The Brewers believe they are close to bringing back reliever Claudio Vargas on a one-year contract, assistant general manager Gord Ash said Tuesday. 

Vargas, acquired from the Dodgers in July for a second stint with the Brewers, boosted his value by posting a 1.78 ERA in 28 relief appearances down the stretch. He was a Brewers starter in 2007, but the team now views him primarily as a relief option. 

Ash is handling negotiations with agent Martin Arburua and said the Brewers were awaiting formal acceptance of an offer. 

“We’re talking and have been for several weeks,” Ash said. “We’re close. I’ve got what I would describe as a tentative deal with the agent. The agent doesn’t have the A-OK from the player.” 

Vargas, 31, is pitching for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League. He made his debut on Sunday with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Last winter, he signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers and earned a Major League minimum salary during his time in the big leagues.

The Brewers have 38 players on their 40-man roster and Vargas would make 39. But another player, injured reliever Mark DiFelice, is likely to come off following Saturday’s nontender deadline.

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