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Jason Vargas heads to IL, Steven Matz scratched and Wilmer Font acquired in Mets' pitching shuffle

Jason Vargas #44 of the Mets throws a

Jason Vargas #44 of the Mets throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 05, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Credit: Getty Images/Stacy Revere

SAN DIEGO — Monday’s version of the Mets’ roster roulette featured Jason Vargas going on the injured list with a left hamstring issue, Steven Matz not going on the injured list despite radial nerve irritation, and righthander Wilmer Font joining the organization after a trade with the Rays.

Got all that? Good, because the Mets also called up Corey Oswalt, activated Justin Wilson (sore left elbow) from the IL and sent Tim Peterson back to Triple-A Syracuse.

Here’s everything you need to know about each of those moves:

Vargas out

After leaving his Sunday start when he felt a grab at his hamstring in the fourth inning, Vargas is out indefinitely, though the leg issue doesn’t seem too serious.

“It came in today a lot better than he would’ve expected, so we’ll just have to wait and see,” manager Mickey Callaway said.

Vargas declined to comment. With off days Thursday and Monday, the Mets don’t need a fifth starter again until May 18 in Miami.

Matz in, for now

Matz’s exam by team doctors in New York yielded what the Mets considered positive news: just nerve-related discomfort in his left forearm, no structural damage.

It’s still possible Matz lands on the IL, but for now the Mets will keep him active while scratching him from his start Wednesday.

“We need a little bit more time before we really make that [IL] decision,” Callaway said. “He’s one of our best pitchers, and if he can pitch before he is eligible to come off the IL, we want him to do that. We want to give him every opportunity. We can always backdate it.”

Matz, who will not join the Mets in San Diego, received a cortisone shot and will not throw for a couple of days. He did not need an MRI, Callaway said.

Callaway said the Mets will wait until after their game Tuesday to decide who will start in Matz’s place Wednesday. Among the candidates mentioned by the manager: Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Drew Gagnon, Oswalt, Font.

New Font

In a minor move that underscores their need for majors-worthy arms, the Mets acquired Font from the Rays for a player to be named later or cash.

Font, a journeyman swingman who turns 29 this month, had a 5.79 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 10 relief appearances for Tampa Bay. Across parts of five major-league seasons, Font has a 6.51 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 37 games (five starts). The Mets are Font’s fourth team since the start of the 2018 season.

“Another guy that we got to help our depth out,” Callaway said. “If we can get him out here and see what he can do, another guy that we’re going to take a look at in multiple roles.”

Font throws a mid-90s fastball, plus a mid-80s changeup and mid-to-high 70s curveball. And some of his peripheral numbers, including a 30-percent strikeout rate and 3.50 FIP, are encouraging. But he hasn’t been able to put it together since breaking into the majors as a 22-year-old with the Rangers in 2012.

Out of minor-league options, Font has to be added to the Mets’ major-league roster when he joins the team Tuesday. The Mets moved Yoenis Cespedes to the 60-day injured list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

Extra bases

Oswalt’s promotion — and potential start Wednesday — came just in time for him to play in front of a hometown crowd. The Mets drafted the San Diego native out of Madison High, 20 minutes north of Petco Park, in 2012. Last year, Oswalt was sent down right as the Mets got to San Diego . . . Noah Syndergaard was named the NL Player of the Week. In his only game last week, he tossed a 10-strikeout shutout and homered in a 1-0 win.

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