Phillies acquire pitcher Jason Vargas from Mets

The Phillies bolstered their beleaguered rotation Monday, acquiring left-hander Jason Vargas from the Mets for Double-A catcher Austin Bossart.

Vargas, 36, is 6-5 with a 4.01 ERA, winning his past three starts. He became expendable when the Mets acquired right-hander Marcus Stroman from Toronto on Sunday night for two pitching prospects.

Vargas could start Friday night against the White Sox on the normal four days of rest. Zach Eflin, who is scheduled to pitch that night, has a 10.46 ERA in his past six starts.

Vargas is owed $2.7 million of his $8 million salary for the remainder of this season, and his contract includes an $8 million club option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout.

Scherzer back on IL: Max Scherzer is back on the 10-day injured list, unwelcome news for the Nationals as they try to catch Atlanta in the NL East while pushing for a wild-card berth. Scherzer was placed on the IL with a strained muscle in his back. The injury is in the same area as the inflammation under his right shoulder that forced the right-hander to the IL for 19 days this month.

Scherzer was dominant in June and won seven consecutive starts as Washington worked its way back into playoff contention following a 19-31 start. He returned from the IL on Thursday and allowed three runs in five innings in a no-decision against the Rockies. The next day, he had an MRI exam that revealed the injury.

Last week, Washington manager Dave Martinez said he was relieved that Scherzer, known as “Mad Max,” would be back on the mound, giving him an outlet for his competitive energy. But on Monday, Martinez said Scherzer needs to be cautious about his recovery.

“Right now, we just want him to understand, ‘Let’s just take our time and get it right so this doesn’t continue to be an issue,’” Martinez said.

Lyles back with Milwaukee: Jordan Lyles is heading back to the Brewers, who are desperate for starting pitching as they try to repeat as NL Central champions. The Brewers acquired the right-hander from Pittsburgh for pitching prospect Cody Ponce, giving them a familiar name in their injury-depleted rotation. Lyles has struggled since the end of May.

Briefly: The Blue Jays called up top prospect Bo Bichette, the son of former major-league outfielder Dante Bichette. He started at shortstop, batted sixth and delivered his first big-league hit in the team’s 7-3 win in Kansas City. Toronto’s lineup also includes the sons of Hall of Famers Vladimir Guerrero and Craig Biggio. … The Dodgers traded left-handed reliever Zac Rosscup to the Cardinals for cash. He is 2-0 with a 5.00 ERA in 28 appearances this season.

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