UPDATE (9:45 am PST): Over the weekend, various outlets reported that the Orioles had agreed on a 3-year, $35 million deal with Yovani Gallardo. While news of an agreement was accurate, the deal may be in jeopardy due to concerns with the right-hander's physical.
Source: Questions have come up with Yovani Gallardo's physical with Baltimore. Status of deal is unclear. O's notorious medical sticklers.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2016
This would appear to be the reason for why the signing hasn't been made official. As Jeff Passan notes, this wouldn't be the first time an iffy medical prevented a player from suiting up with the Orioles. In 2013, Baltimore nixed a deal with Grant Balfour, as he "did not meet the approval of the Orioles' doctors."
While failing a medical isn't out of the ordinary, "two doctors with other clubs, both of whom have a history with Balfour, publicly challenged the Orioles' findings." If the same happens with Gallardo, and his deal with Baltimore falls through, his value will likely plummet, and he might be forced to take a 1-year deal that's highly incentive based.
The deal includes a fourth-year option valued at $13 million and a $2 million buyout, according to Cotillo. Gallardo will receive $9 million in 2016, $11 million in 2017 and $13 million in 2018, and the deal includes some deferrals. Gallardo did not receive a no-trade clause, and the deal includes some small awards packages as its only incentives.
Since several of the big name free-agents have been off the board, Gallardo has been considered the best remaining starting pitcher. Baltimore was reportedly hesitant to sign Gallardo, since he received and subsequently rejected a qualifying offer.
After re-signing free agent Chris Davis, the Orioles made it clear they had a desire to upgrade their starting rotation. Gallardo gives the Orioles a veteran arm to replace Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins in January.
Although the Orioles were thought to have reached a deal with Gallardo earlier this week, the organization is careful with its free agent signings. It took several days for the Davis and Darren O'Day deals to be finalized.
Gallardo, 29, pitched to a 3.42 ERA and 4.00 FIP over 184.1 innings with the Rangers last season. He has tossed at least 180 innings in each of the last eight seasons and has a career 3.66 ERA.
Baltimore will lose its No. 14 pick in the draft by signing Gallardo. Earlier Saturday, the Orioles were reportedly considering alternative options, including Tim Lincecum, if they decided they did not want to sacrifice a pick in exchange for pitching depth.
Now that the club has addressed its rotation, it will likely pursue outfield help. Dexter Fowler remains an option, but it could be unlikely the Orioles are willing to lose two picks for two free agents.