New writer Steve Palumbo takes a deep look at the trade that sent pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers bolstered a suddenly formidable starting rotation by adding Yovani Gallardo from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infielder Luis Sardinas, right-handed pitcher Corey Knebel and minor league pitcher Marcos Diplan.
The Rangers get their man:
Texas longed for some much-needed help in the middle of their rotation and Gallardo is that man. The 28-year-old hurler went 8-11 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.295 WHIP last season with the Brewers and has averaged at least 13 wins since 2011. The righty pitched 192 1/3 innings in 2014 and has thrown over 200 innings twice in his career (in 2011 and 2012).
Gallardo numbers were good, but not great in Milwaukee. A change of scenery and the ability to slip right into the Rangers rotation behind ace Yu Darvish and Derek Holland should pay dividends. Gallardo’s presence immediately stabilizes a Texas rotation that spent much of last season in flux. The Rangers plugged in a club record 15 different starters in 2014. The results of which were less than stellar as Texas finished last in the AL West.
Gallardo spent the last three seasons at the top of Milwaukee’s rotation, finishing with a record of 50-46 over that span. The Brewers won just 12 of Gallardo’s starts in 2014, thanks in part to the sixth-lowest run support among NL starters. That trend should change in Texas. With a bolstered offense, thanks in part to a healthy Prince Fielder returning to the line-up, and a new spot in the rotation, this could be a strong bounce-back season for Gallardo.
The Brewers get:
Milwaukee was the beneficiary of a strong Texas farm system. The Brewers get back infielder Luis Sardinas, right-handed pitcher Corey Knebel and minor-league pitcher Marcos Diplan in the deal.
Baseball America had Sardinas ranked as the Rangers No. 7 prospect before he was dealt. The 21-year-old hit .261/.303/.313 in 125 plate appearances as a rookie last season. His true strength is with the glove, but he can make contact with the ball when called upon. He should see some time in the big leagues in 2015, but don’t count on him being an everyday player for the Brewers.
Knebel, 23, is considered a future closer, but, a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow cut his 2014 season short. This type of injury can’t be ignored and is something to keep an eye on in the future.
The Fantasy Impact?
From 2009 to 2012, Gallardo had over 200 K’s for the Brewers, but his numbers have been on the decline since peaking at 207 strikeouts in 2011. Despite pitching over 192 innings last season, Gallardo failed to crack 150 K’s for a second consecutive season (144 in 2013 and 146 in 2014). From Rotoworld.com, “He's nothing more than a back-end option in standard mixed leagues as he moves into his age-29 season.” Yes, he is an innings-eater, but the trade does not do much to increase Gallardo’s fantasy value.
Who could benefit from this deal? Why Colby Lewis of course. Lewis made 29 starts for the Rangers last season and finished 10-14 with 133 strikeouts and a 1.52 WHIP. He finished the 2014 season strong and showed no signs of the 2013 hip-surgery that sidelined him. Despite being 35-years-old he could have some added fantasy value in 2015, especially AL-only fantasy formats.
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