Ben Badler of Baseball America pegged the Rangers as the most likely landing spot for Cuban slugger Jose Abreu last week, but it sounds like they are going to have plenty of competition.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins are “all in” to sign Abreu and were “well represented” as his two-day workout in the Dominican Republic earlier this week. The Marlins project to have a payroll in the $38 million range next season and aren’t expected to be active for established major league free agents this winter, but that isn’t stopping their pursuit of the power-hitting first baseman.
Frisaro notes that blind bids for Abreu are expected to be due today. Many have speculated that it could take $45-60 million to sign him, which would top Yasiel Puig’s $42 million deal with the Dodgers for the richest ever for a Cuban player. For what it’s worth, Frisaro hears from a source that the Giants are the favorites.
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.