Hunter Pence isn’t playing, but that seems well explained. B.J. Upton’s absence from Tampa Bay’s lineup for the second time in four games, on the other hand, could and probably should be taken that a deal is close.
Also notable: there’s no Ian Desmond in the lineup for the Nationals tonight. Washington has long been considered a likely destination for Upton, and the Rays may well want a shortstop in return after Reid Brignac’s spectacular flameout this year.
You can bet we’ll be keeping an eye on things.
7:50 p.m. EDT update: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times is hearing that there’s no deal currently in place for Upton. That doesn’t mean something isn’t close.
8:20 p.m. EDT update: Upton said he was told by Maddon it was just a day off and that “there’s nothing going on.” Upton has been slumping, but it’s still very odd to see him getting a second day off in four days, particularly since there’s no disciplinary reason for the move.
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.