Done Deal: Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals, Ryan Ludwick to the Padres

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A three-way deal has gone down between the Indians, the Cardinals and the Padres.  The breakdown:

  • The Indians send starter Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals;
  • The Cardinals send outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the Padres;
  • The Padres send prospects to the Cardinals and the Indians.  We’re not yet sure if this is all of them, but the Indians are getting AA pitcher Corey Kluber and the Cardinals are getting A-ball pitcher Nick Greenwood.

This
deal makes total sense for the Indians and Padres.  Cleveland unloads an expensive pitcher in exchange for young talent and the Padres get a much-needed bat (Ludwick is hitting .281/.343.484).  This addresses needs both clubs have.

It remains a bit of a head-scratcher for St. Louis. Yes, Westbrook — 6-7, 4.65 ERA, 1.154 WHIP — gives them a far more solid number four starter than they’ve had, so that’s good.  But still: this is a Cardinals offense that has been inconsistent all year and likely can’t afford to lose much pop.  I suppose it gives John Jay and everyday job, but the Cardinals are taking a bit of a roll of the dice on him.

The prospect heading to Cleveland — Corey Kluber — is a 24 year-old right-handed starter in AA. He strikes out more than a man per inning and seems to have pretty decent control.  He may be a find.  The fellow going to St. Louis — Nick Greenwood — is a 23 year-old lefty swingman, currently in his second go-around in high-A ball. Nice control, but nothing pops out at you.

Good deal for San Diego and Cleveland. The Cardinals? Well, they needed one bat and a starter before today. Now they need two bats.  Your mileage may vary as to whether that’s an improvement.

Report: Brewers sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league deal

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Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.

Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.

Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.

Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.