As much as the announcement of a Yovani Gallardo reunion to the Milwaukee Brewers seems worrisome, GM David Stearns means it is not.
There were a lot of opinions out there the second the news broke. But Stearns is a genius, and that shows through on any deal he might make. Now that the deal between Gallardo and the Milwaukee Brewers is official, people can see just how smart of a move it is.
First of all, it is only one year. Considering Gallardo has not been his ace-like self since leaving Milwaukee, that is the first smart dealing. If he cannot recapture his glory days then the team is not stuck with a contract.
There is a flipside to that. Stearns is taking a chance on Gallardo. So if he does prove to be useful, then he will be more likely to extend a few years with the Brewers. The one year deal is just a guarantee of not getting stuck.
This is where the amazing dealing of Stearns really shines through. The original thought is that Gallardo would be in the MLB, and probably attempting to replace Jimmy Nelson during his recovery. But that is not the case.
Officially the contract is two million dollars guaranteed. That is not a hard pill to swallow to begin with. However, and this is the best part, if Gallardo is not on the Opening Day roster then the two million is not guaranteed.
After the guarantee, there are two sets of incentives. One of them will be a reward for innings pitched. The other is for appearances. Stearns set this contract up to not hurt the team, and he made Gallardo’s role clear in the writing.
What The Contract Means
The incentives make it obvious what Stearns is looking for from the Milwaukee Brewers former ace. Gallardo is meant to eat innings. That is why the incentives are for appearances and innings. That is about all that can be expected either way.
The hope is that Gallardo will revert back to the pitcher he was the first time around in Milwaukee. If he can, then there will be an extension without a doubt. But his inconsistent years are what sentenced him to a potentially guarantee of money, nothing concrete.
I say this a lot, but David Stearns is a genius. He makes deals that improve heftily and hurt in a minor way. That is the mark of a great GM. Though at first I may not agree with the moves, by the end they always prove to be the best move.