Steve Swindal, originally the designated successor to George Steinbrenner, was at Yankees camp Wednesday, watching his daughter sing the national anthem and talking about his current enterprise; he runs a camp for prospects in the Dominican Republic.
Swindal, former husband to Jennifer Steinbrenner, was supposed to to occupy the role currently held by Hal Steinbrenner. However, he was arrested for DUI in 2007 and divorced by his wife a month later. The Yankees then bought out his ownership stake, and George chose Hal as his successor.
Swindal now runs a camp with Abel Guerra, the Yankees’ former VP of international operations. In return for a portion of any future signing bonus, he houses, feeds, schools and trains prospects in the Dominican Republic. Rafael Perez, MLB’s director of Dominican operations, calls it “the nicest academy of any agent.”
The business probably doesn’t have such a promising future after MLB cracked down in foreign spending budgets in the CBA agreed to over the winter, but Swindal plans to keep at it.
“Hopefully we’ll have a couple guys go for a million dollars this year. We’re certainly projecting that. With the new CBA, I don’t know how it’s going to affect it,” Swindal said. “I know the talent is always going to be there, and somehow the clubs are going to find a way to get the talent. The country is just so full of baseball heritage and it just starts from birth with young people. it’s getting stronger.”
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.