While not everything in the pending deal has been ironed out, but it does look like Yovani Gallardo is finally going to be off the market, with the Baltimore Orioles adding him to their starting pitching rotation.
Gallardo remaining a free agent for so long shows how complicated the market is for veterans like him that don’t offer a significant upgrade to contenders, while teams are less and less willing to part with high draft picks, especially those considered small-market teams. However, Gallardo is as durable as they come with some solid numbers behind, that might make him fit well with the Orioles, especially due to a very good infield defense, compatible with his strong groundball rate (49.3% last year).
By the look of things, Gallardo is asking for a three-year deal worth $40 million. He waived the $15.8 qualifying offer and was probably to make the $14 million he did last season on an annual basis, but the market is swinging in different directions, which has made the 30-year old settle for less, especially considering his fading velocity and his struggles in getting strikeouts compared to walks, with his ratio falling to 1.78 last season.
This one is more about adding depth than some vast improvement in quality for the Orioles, but they did need something after losing Wei-Yin Chen to the Miami Marlins, not willing to pay him the kind of money he was looking for. They already spent quite a lot on keeping Chris Davis from bolting, and it’s actually quite surprising they have some leftovers for Gallardo, but I guess the Orioles saw themselves in need of further upgrade considering the rest of the AL East and their moves.
Gallardo has been pitching since 2007, in all but last season with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has seven consecutive seasons of 31 starts or more while pitching in 180 innings or more each season. He finished with a 3.42 ERA in 2015 for the Texas Rangers, his best since becoming a full-time member of the Brewers rotation, although his WHIP, at 1.416, was the highest it has ever been.