We knew this was going to happen. Once the real part of the offseason began, we knew the Arizona Diamondbacks would be linked to just about every free agent pitcher available as well as closers that might on the block by their current employers. So far, the D-backs have been linked to free agent Mike Leake and Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda. Yesterday, it was reported that they inquired about New York Yankees’ reliever Andrew Miller. Today’s newest name in the rumor mill is Yovani Gallardo according CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman:
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A big drawback to signing him, as mlbtraderumors points out, is that if the D-backs were to sign the 29-year old Gallardo, they would forfeit the number 13 selection in the 2016 Draft as he declined a qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers. Last year, Gallardo went 13-11 with an ERA of 3.42 in 33 starts for the American League West champions. He was traded to the Rangers prior to the 2015 season after spending the first eight years of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was an All-Star in 2010 and the following year, won a personal-best 17 games as Milwaukee captured the National League Central division title. Gallardo’s lifetime numbers are 102 wins and 75 losses with a 3.66 ERA. Most importantly, he has started 30 or more games for the last seven years.
Throughout his career, Gallardo has been very tough on the Snakes. In 12 lifetime starts against Arizona, he is 7-2 with a 2.32 ERA. He has struck out 63 D-backs’ hitters in 73 2/3 innings while allowing 27 walks. He pitched Games One and Five vs. Arizona in the 2011 Division Series going a combined 14 innings and allowing only two earned runs on ten hits while fanning 14. The only other National League West team Gallardo has had success against is the San Francisco Giants with a 3.21 ERA and a 6-4 record ten starts. He has an ERA of over four in 21 combined outings against the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers with an ERA over six in ten outings vs. the Colorado Rockies.
The D-backs have to decide if Gallardo is worth the 13th pick in the Draft. If he pitches to his career numbers (minus his shaky record against the NL West) for the life of the deal, then you can make an argument that yes, it was worth it, particularly if he helps pitch the team to the playoffs. He and Patrick Corbin, while not a spectacular one-two combination, would at least give the D-backs a chance to win just about every game they pitch. As the saying goes, only time will tell.