At some point there was a little bit of optimism about Victor Martinez potentially returning from knee surgery to play this season, but two weeks ago the Tigers said that was unlikely and today they officially ruled it out.
Team trainer Kevin Rand told Jason Beck of MLB.com that Martinez has run out of time in his rehab and will now focus on being 100 percent healthy for spring training.
Martinez underwent microfracture surgery in January, but has yet to be cleared for full-speed running. He was paid $12 million this season without taking an at-bat and is owed another $13 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014.
He had been slated to be the Tigers’ full-time designated hitter, but in Martinez’s absence the team’s DHs have combined to hit just .256 with 11 homers and a .674 OPS that ranks 12th in the AL.
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.