The Rangers acquired Giants’ right-hander Clayton Blackburn in exchange for minor league infielder Frandy De La Rosa and cash considerations, according to reports from the teams on Sunday afternoon. The Giants designated Blackburn for assignment last Tuesday and were expected to deal him after he drew interest from multiple teams throughout the offseason. Blackburn was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock following the trade.
The 24-year-old righty was billed as one of Baseball Prospectus’ top 100 prospects prior to the 2013 season and worked his way to Triple-A Sacramento by 2015, where he put up a 2.85 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 123 innings. He looked considerably less impressive in 2016, pitching to a 4.36 ERA and watching his strikeout rate dip to 6.7 SO/9 as he labored through 136 1/3 innings and a 7-10 finish. While he doesn’t appear ready to step into a full-time role in the Rangers’ rotation just yet, he should provide the club with some depth at the Triple-A level this season.
De La Rosa, 21, is coming off of his first season in Single-A Hickory, where he slashed .250/.330/.351 with seven home runs and 19 stolen bases in 42 chances. The infielder was recently promoted to High-A Down East, where he handled seven games at first base and went 3-for-28 with five walks before Sunday’s trade.
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.