The Texas Rangers wanted a quality starting pitcher to help Yu Darvish and Derek Holland at the top of the rotation in 2015. Enter Yovani Gallardo, a Fort Worth, Texas, native who attended Trimble Tech High School.
The 28-year-old, obtained Monday in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, is entering the final year of his contract, under which he is due $13 million, though his hometown team is open to signing Gallardo long-term.
However, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said during Monday’s conference call with reporters, results will determine plenty.
“We’ve got to let it play out, at least for right now,” Daniels said. “We haven’t had any discussions with Yovani.”
The right-hander brings plenty of positives to the Texas rotation: He has pitched at least 180 innings in six of his eight big league seasons and made at least 30 starts the past six.
“A workhorse,” manager Jeff Banister said.
The Rangers will pay $9 million of Gallardo’s salary, and a long-term commitment depends on whether he can win games for a team coming off a 95-loss season. This past season, according to FanGraphs' calculations, Gallardo’s Wins Above Replacement was 1.7, third-best on the Brewers and just slightly above Colby Lewis' 1.6.
Gallardo changed his style slightly from a strikeout pitcher to one who pitches to contact. He joked that one has to do what’s necessary to get people out, which is what you want to hear from a pitcher.
If Gallardo pitches well, the Rangers should give him a long-term deal.
“Of course, any player would,” Gallardo said of wanting to be in that situation. “Just growing up here and having family, as far as that is concerned, I thought about it. But right now, it’s a situation where they announced the trade [Monday], and I’m really focused on the season.”