Could Yovani Gallardo still wind up with the Orioles? For more than two months, the Orioles have been linked with Gallardo. It’s not clear that they’ve ever made a concrete offer to him, but Foxsports.com reported on Thursday, they’re still interested in him.
Gallardo is what passes for the only name brand pitcher on the market. If the Orioles sign him, they’ll surrender their first round draft pick in June’s draft.
Recently, Dan Duquette has been saying the team would like to hold on to its selection, the 14th pick, but if Gallardo’s price is irresistible perhaps he’ll think again.
As Gallardo remains unsigned, there’s been chatter about what some see as his declining skills.
His WHIP rose to a career high 1.416, and his strikeouts fell to below six per nine innings.
On the surface, a repeat of his 13-11 season with a 3.42 ERA would certainly help the Orioles. They didn’t have a pitcher who won 13 games in 2015.
Gallardo’s 2015 was erratic. His best months were June (2-0, 0.54 in five starts) and August (4-0, 1.98) in five starts. In July, he was 0-3 with a 5.46 ERA in six starts, and in his final six starts was 2-2 with a 4.85.
Colorado, Kansas City and Toronto were reportedly linked with Gallardo, but why hasn’t the team that knows him the best, Texas stepped up?
The Rangers are usually active in the free agent market, but this offseason they haven’t, and presumably they could bring Gallardo back, and unlike other teams, wouldn’t have to surrender a draft pick for him.
Yu Darvish is coming back for Texas, and they have Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis and Nick Martinez. They also have Chi Chi Gonzalez and Martin Perez who both started games last year.
Perhaps there’s really no need for Gallardo in Arlington, but there’s a definite need in Baltimore, where he threw six shutout innings, allowing two hits in his only start here.
If the Orioles could get Gallardo for a year at $10 million, would that be worth it?
Nelson Cruz declined a qualifying offer from the same Texas Rangers, accepted a lower one-year salary from the Orioles and had a big year.
Gallardo, who will be 30 later this month, earned $14 million last year. If he’ll take a pay cut, would a one-year deal work?
If he has a strong year, then he can test the market again, and the Orioles could recoup the lost draft pick, as they did with Cruz, with another qualifying offer.
But, he’s mediocre, say 9-11 with a 4.00 ERA, would the Orioles dare proffer a qualifying offer.
They were surprised when Matt Wieters accepted the qualifying offer, but his was a special circumstance. After what he’s been through this winter, Gallardo might snap it up.
It’s funny how every time the Orioles make a move, there’s immediately speculation that they’ll make another. On Thursday, no sooner had they acquired Ordrisamer Despaigne from San Diego than talk began that they were really interested in Gallardo.
After the Chris Davis signing, there was talk that the Orioles were still interested in Yoenis Cespedes.
Besides another starter, the Orioles still need a right fielder, and there are plenty of acceptable choices available: Matt Joyce, David Murphy, Ryan Raburn, Will Venable and Shane Victorino.
One name that’s been forever linked with the Orioles was Gavin Floyd. There was even some speculation that he would audition for the team at last month’s minicamp.
He didn’t, and now he’s heading to the Blue Jays. We’ll be hearing about him again next winter.
L.J. Hoes has cleared waivers, and he’ll be palling around with Adam Jones during spring training. Hoes will be one of an ever increasing number of invitees to camp.
The Orioles don’t like to have 60 players in camp because they don’t have that many lockers in their main clubhouse and don’t want the players who have to dress in the adjacent auxiliary clubhouse to feel inferior.
Hoes and Joey Terdoslavich, who were acquired this offseason, both cleared waivers, and will be joining the gang in Sarasota later this month.
Perhaps C.J. Riefenhauser will, too. The left-hander who was part of the Mark Trumbo deal, threw in minicamp, but was designated for assignment on Thursday was Despaigne was added. If he clears waivers, we’ll see him in 13 days when pitchers and catchers report.
By then, we may have some news on Zach Britton. Britton’s arbitration hearing is set for Feb. 17, and he’s asked for $7.9 million while the Orioles countered with $5.6 million.
The two sides should settle ahead of arbitration as they did last year, and as Brian Matusz did on Thursday. Matusz and the Orioles settled on $3.9 million.
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