The Indians may be getting a new setup man.
According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, free agent reliever Chad Durbin has been talking recently with Cleveland’s front office and an agreement between the two sides could be just days away.
Durbin was thought to be holding out for offers from contending clubs, but spring training is officially underway now and exhibition games begin this weekend. He probably has a desire to get into a camp and begin readying himself for the season.
The 33-year-old right-hander posted a 3.80 ERA and struck out 63 batters against 27 walks last season in 68.2 frames of relief work for the Phillies. He will likely operate in the seventh and eighth innings behind closer Chris Perez in Cleveland. If Durbin does well enough, perhaps a contender will come calling mid-summer.
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.