Players are getting taken off the big board of free agency all the time, but Yovani Gallardo remains unsigned, waiting for the right offer and opportunity, which will probably means he ends up with one of three teams: The Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays or the Houston Astros.
Gallardo had a so-so season with the Texas Rangers in 2015, posting a 1.416 WHIP, the highest of his career, with a 3.42 ERA (best of his career) while struggling in terms of strikeouts and walks, averaging just 1.7 strikes per walks and giving up more hits per inning than ever before. But he hardly gave up home runs (just 15 in 33 games, 0.7 per nine innings) and played well in his one postseason appearance against the Toronto Blue Jays.
All three teams mentioned offer good fits for Gallardo, who will turn 30 in April and while playing most of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, likes being in Texas, where he grew up and went to high school (Fort Worth). The Rangers don’t seem to be eager on getting him back, or at least pay him the kind of money it takes to hold on to him for the next few years, even if Gallardo probably prefers them to anyone else that’s out there.
The Houston Astros are in Texas, and have been after a starting pitcher for most of this offseason, although haven’t been shopping too aggressively to sign him. They have a pretty good rotation with Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers but are a little bit empty behind that, which would give Gallardo a good role, without too much pressure, where he can deliver rather consistently, playing at least 180 innings in seven consecutive seasons.
The Orioles made some nice moves, but in the changing AL East, their offseason might not be enough to be much more than a .500 team. Signing Gallardo, or any other solid starter (not a lot of them left) seems to be something they should be actively pursuing, although the question that needs to be asked is whether they still have money to make any kind of moves after re-signing Chris Davis.
The Blue Jays are in a similar spot to the Orioles, being in the AL East. They need to improve their rotation and Gallardo will do that, but for a team that’s not too eager to go past $170 million in salary, signing Gallardo, who made $14 million last season and is hoping for at least $40 million over three years, makes that a little bit complicated, unless they backload the deal.