Jul 20, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcherYovani Gallardo
pitches in the 1st inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Yovani Gallardo has pitched seven seasons in the majors with the Brewers and is only 27 years of age. Yovani has been handed the ball on opening day, has been an All-Star, and over the years has been considered the ace of the Brewer rotation. So why does everyone want to trade him?
Signed through 2014 with a team option for 2015, a decision needs to be made sooner than later. Sign an extension or deal Gallardo? Obviously money is a factor and the Brewers will not dish out 100 plus million dollar contracts (Note: I don’t expect Gallardo to be nine figure guy); however, trading for prospects doesn’t always work out, or hardly ever works out. Here are a few reasons against trading Yovani Gallardo.
There has been a lot of concern over loss of velocity in Gallardo’s fastball. As a strikeout pitcher, his heater is typically relied upon. But, in addition to his fastball, Yovani throws a curveball, slider, and changeup with lots of movement. The latter half of 2013, Gallardo relied more on these pitches (along with a slight uptick in his fastball) to regain his form as an effective starter. For the last five years Gallardo has started at least 30 games and has not had a losing season. With age comes experience and knowledge, both of which Gallardo will need to utilize should his fastball continue to dip. The good news he is not a one-trick pony and has other tools to pull from his toolbox.
So let’s assume worse case (or close to worse case) that Yovani Gallardo regresses to the point that he is a fourth or fifth starter. Even if he is traded there is no guarantee the Brewers will receive a someday starter; look at all of the pitching prospects now; the Brewers still don’t know what they have in Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Jimmy Nelson, Johnny Hellweg, Hiram Burgos, etc… Is there an ace in the group? Not likely. Are there rotation starters in the group? How is adding another name to that list going to clear up the current crop of unproven prospects.
AGE AND PREDICTION
Gallardo is 27 years old and will be only 30 years of age when the 2016 season starts. There is no reason to think he can’t pitch well into his mid thirties. Last year was a down year, but the second half showed promise and overall he still maintained a positive WAR. For his career, Gallardo has averaged a 2+ WAR and an ERA under 4.00. Again, not ace stuff, but definitely a pitcher you’d like to have in your starting rotation. For the next few years I predict his annual win total will continue to reach double digits and maintain a 1-1.5 annual WAR.
Owner Mark Attanasio does not have a rebuild mindset, at least not yet. Gallardo has shown consistency and durability during his time with the team. Stop looking at Gallardo as an ace and see him as a solid rotation guy and his value increases. Question is, do the Brewers’ or Gallardo himself agree? To be continued…
Anyone else think Gallardo should be part of the Brewers long-term plans, or are you ready to deal him for whatever the Brewers can get? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.