Brian Bannister is taking his talents to… Japan.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the 29-year-old right-hander has agreed to a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. The deal also carries an option for 2012.
Bannister drew very little interest from major league clubs this offseason after posting an ugly 6.34 ERA and 1.63 WHIP over 127.2 innings of work for the Royals last year. He struck out only 77 batters and walked 50 while working both as a starter and reliever. Kansas City cut ties with him in early November by outrighting him off their 40-man roster.
The former Mets draft pick is still plenty young and could be back in the states at some point down the road.
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.