If Indians want Rajai Davis back, it’s going to cost them. A report from Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer revealed that the club has interest in bringing their center fielder back on board in 2017, but are short on cash after inking Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $60 million deal this winter.
The 36-year-old outfielder batted .249/.306/.388 with 12 home runs for the Indians in 2016, leading the league with 43 steals and coming just three bases shy of his career-best stolen base mark. His speed and defense should make it easy for him to find a spot on a major league roster, Pluto writes, noting that he thinks the veteran has often been undervalued due to his age and lack of power.
Davis hasn’t attracted a lot of attention so far this offseason, but that doesn’t mean the Indians should sleep on him. Pluto reports that the team has a serviceable center fielder in Abraham Almonte, who is expected to platoon with Tyler Naquin in 2017 if the club can’t find the money to attract Davis. After serving an 80-day suspension for PED use, Almonte slashed .264/.294/.401 with a home run and eight stolen bases in his second season with the Indians.
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.