The Milwaukee Brewers have finally made a free agent signing this offseason. And it’s a familiar face.
Yovani Gallardo is back in a Brewers uniform. Gallardo was with the Brewers from 2007-2014 and was the ace of the staff for many of those years. His first tenure with the Brewers ended with a trade to Texas for Corey Knebel, Luis Sardinas, and Marcos Diplan. Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the signing.
The Brewers signed Gallardo to a one year, major league deal worth an unknown amount of money. Whatever the money is, it’s not likely to be a large sum. He will need to pass a physical before the team announces the signing.
Gallardo has had a rough few years since leaving the Brewers. He put up good numbers in his one year with the Texas Rangers. As an Oriole in 2016, he posted a 5.42 ERA. As a Mariner in 2017, he had a 5.72 ERA. He has not thrown more than 140 innings each of the past two seasons.
The soon to be 32 year old still could have a few good years left. While the Milwaukee Brewers are on the lookout for an ace to sit atop the rotation, this is not 2011 and Gallardo is no longer an ace. Gallardo will slide in somewhere in the back of the rotation, likely taking the spot of Junior Guerra on the depth chart. He could fill in for Jimmy Nelson’s spot in the rotation until he returns from injury.
This is certainly not the expected pitching acquisition. Gallardo had a $13 million option declined by the Mariners this offseason thus making him a free agent. Although he’s struggled the last few seasons perhaps a return to the franchise that drafted him will help.
Pitching coach Derek Johnson could work some of his magic to fix Gallardo’s issues. Gallardo could also add some veteran leadership for this young team. His postseason experience from 2008 and 2011 should be invaluable. It’s a low-risk, high reward move from David Stearns.
Gallardo anchored the Brewers rotation in the past, throwing at least 180 innings each year from 2009-2014, while posting an ERA consistently in the mid-threes. He also is known to be pretty good with a bat in his hand. As shown by his 12 career home runs, including a four homer season in 2010. After playing the last three years in the American League he likely misses the opportunity to hit.
The homecoming for Gallardo is great for him and he was a fan-favorite during his time here. He will need to earn a spot in this rotation but could easily fit in as a fourth or fifth starter. He also could be effective as a long reliever. In Seattle this year, Gallardo posted a 1.69 ERA in six relief appearances.
David Stearns finally has added a starting pitcher, but this is not the big one he is looking for and it is not the only acquisition he will make for the rotation. There is more coming, but this is a good start.
Yovani Gallardo, Welcome Home!
With many young starting pitchers in the Milwaukee Brewers organization this free agent deal leaves room for long term growth as Gallardo is not here for the long haul. The Hot Stove is on fire right now.