Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he has made a contract offer to the arbitration-eligible Joe Saunders. Piecoro hears that it’s likely a two-year deal, which jibes with what Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported last week.
Saunders, who was acquired from the Angels as part of the Dan Haren deal in 2010, earned $5.5 million this season while posting a 3.69 ERA and 108/67 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. The 30-year-old southpaw stands to make over $8 million in arbitration this winter, which makes him a candidate to be non-tendered or traded.
If the two sides agree on a two-year deal, it would cover his final year of arbitration and his first year of free agency. While Saunders is unlikely to duplicate the success he had in 2011, he remains a pretty useful middle-of-the-rotation starter.
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.