In the wake of Yovani Galardo's trade to the Texas Rangers, the Milwaukee Brewers are looking at an array of options to aid their pitching staff, per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. According to Heyman, the club is considering both free agency and trades as a means to add to their rotation and bullpen.
Without Gallardo, it was assumed that 25-year-old right-hander Jimmy Nelson would fill out Milwaukee's rotation, but the team still seems to be exploring their options. Heyman mentions free agent right-hander James Shields as a possible consideration, an idea speculated about following Gallardo's departure. However, in an interview with MLB Network Radio's Jim Bowden on Thursday, general manager Doug Melvin stated that the club was not looking to acquire a starting pitcher of Shield's caliber, citing a preference to go with Nelson or add a lesser-tier arm.
As it stands, the Brewers will head into 2015 with a rotation of Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse, Wily Peralta, Mike Fiers, and Nelson, which has the potential to be an average to above-average group. However, they currently lack much depth, which would certainly hinder them once the nearly inevitable rotation injury occurs.
In the interview, Melvin also added that the team was looking to upgrade the bullpen, adding one, or possibly two pieces. Heyman cites current free agents Francisco Rodriguez (who served as Milwaukee's closer in 2014) and Rafael Soriano as potential options. Both are coming off strong seasons in which they served as closers for their respective clubs, and each could feasibly fill that role with Milwaukee, who is currently slated to use Jonathan Broxton at the position next season. The Brewers' bullpen ranked 20th in collective WAR and 17th in FIP in 2014, so they could stand to improve, especially with the subtractions of Zach Duke, Tom Gorzelanny and potentially Rodriguez.