Milwaukee Brewers: Revisiting the Yovani Gallardo deal

Matthew Dewoskin
August 16, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (49) pitches the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
August 16, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (49) pitches the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

On Januray 19th, 2015, the Milwaukee Brewers dealt starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers for three prospects. One of them was infielder Luis Sardinas, who was later dealt to the San Diego Padres. Sardinas was last seen occupying space on their bench. The other two prospects are still in the organization. Let’s see how that deal looks after two years of distance.

The Key Players

Yovani Gallardo was solid during his one full season with the Rangers after the trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was allowed to walk after posting a 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings in Texas. Gallardo earned a 13-11 record, and actually made a post-season start. He signed with Baltimore in the off-season where he was mediocre for a year. Then, Gallardo was dealt to Seattle where he’s also been mediocre. He was a solid acquisition for the Rangers and served his purpose as an innings eater for a playoff team.

Luis Sardinas has failed to establish himself at the Major League level and his now on his fourth organization with the Padres. He’s a fringe Major Leaguer at this point in his career.

Corey Knebel was one of the prospects the Milwaukee Brewers acquired for Gallardo. The deal that brought Knebel to Milwaukee was actually the second time he had been dealt in his short career. He was originally drafted by the Tigers, and moved in a deadline deal for Joakim Soria.

Knebel spent most of the 2015 season in the Brewers bullpen. He posted a 3.22 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 17 walks in 48 appearances. He would earn the dreaded “Closer of the Future” label after his initial success with the Brewers.

Knebel started 2016 hurt, came back and was rough, and then was sent back to Colorado Springs for a stretch. He dominated the Triple-A level for a few weeks, and eventually returned to Milwaukee and spent the second half working middle relief.

Fast forward to 2017, Corey Knebel currently owns a 0.90 ERA with 33 K’s and only nine walks in 20 innings at the Major League level. He’s shed the “Closer of the Future” label and has assumed the much more desirable “Closer of the foreseeable Future” role. He’s already earned his first save of the season and appears poised to make his first All-Star Game appearance.

Marcos Diplan was the third prospect that came to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Gallardo deal, and he was by far the most unknown. The then 18-year old Diplan had only one season of professional baseball under his belt in the Dominican Summer League.

Diplan is still only in his age-20 season, and he’s climbed up to High-A where he occupies a role in the Carolina Mudcats rotation. He has two pitches that grade out as MLB-quality, his 92-95 MPH fastball and his 80-84 MPH slider. He’s still working on his secondary stuff, and may head to the bullpen before long if he doesn’t succeed as a starter. He owns a 5.86 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 14 walks in 27 2/3 innings so far this season.

Next: Is Prospect Josh Hader Ready For The Show?

All-in-all, the Gallardo deal was one of the rare trades where there can be an argument for both sides. The Rangers got a one-year rental of a quality starting pitcher who helped them get to the post-season. The Brewers found a player who may be one of the best relievers in baseball, and might have another coming soon in Diplan.

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