Vargas agrees to minor league deal with Mets

NEW YORK -- Claudio Vargas and the Mets agreed to a minor league contract Thursday, giving New York another option for its injury-riddled rotation.

Vargas will earn $1 million if he's called up to the big leagues and can earn another $975,000 in incentives based on appearances and innings pitched.

Vargas was released by Milwaukee late in spring training after going 11-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 23 starts and six relief appearances for the Brewers last season. The right-hander, who turns 30 in June, was 12-10 with a 4.83 ERA for Arizona in 2006.

The Mets are missing two-fifths of their projected rotation. No. 2 starter Pedro Martinez strained his left hamstring during his first start last week and is expected to be sidelined at least four to six weeks. Orlando Hernandez is out indefinitely with a strained tendon in his troublesome right foot.

For now, the Mets have filled their spots with 24-year-old Mike Pelfrey and journeyman Nelson Figueroa, scheduled to start Friday night against Milwaukee.

Vargas will report to extended spring training in Florida before joining Triple-A New Orleans.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark and The Associated Press was used in this report.