The Brewers have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo, a source told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Gallardo received a non-guaranteed deal that will see him make $2 million if on the major-league roster and includes $2 million in performance bonuses.
Gallardo, a 2004 second-round pick of the Brewers who pitched for the club from 2007-14, comes back to Milwaukee after the Mariners declined his $13 million option.
Gallardo was a quality arm for the Brewers in his eight seasons with the club, posting an 89-64 record with a 3.69 ERA and 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 214 games, 211 of which were starts. His best stretch was from 2010-12, when he went 47-26 with a 3.66 ERA and had three of his four straight seasons with over 200 strikeouts. He also earned his only All-Star appearance in 2010.
But, Gallardo was traded to the Rangers in 2015 for Marcos Diplan, Corey Knebel and Luis Sardines. Ever since that trade, Gallardo has not been the same pitcher, as he has gone 24-29 with a 4.66 ERA and a 6.2 K/9 in 84 appearances (78 starts) over the last three seasons while playing for the Rangers, Orioles and Mariners.
The Brewers hope Gallardo could find his form because they need to bolster their starting pitching. That’s because their anchor to their staff, Jimmy Nelson, is expected to miss “a chunk” of time in 2018 after undergoing labrum surgery on Sept. 20. In addition, they still have not figured out what Josh Hader’s role will be on the staff. Last season, Hader was effective out of the bullpen, as he posted a 2.08 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 47 2⁄3 innings pitched in 35 appearances after being called up to the majors in June. Milwaukee general manager David Stearns and company said Hader’s role still remains “a topic of discussion” right now, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.