The Rangers and closer Shawn Tolleson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.275 million contract, per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
It’s a substantial raise for Tolleson, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old right-hander filed for $3.9 million and was offered $2.6 million by the Rangers when figures were exchanged earlier this month, so the two sides settled a little over the midpoint.
Tolleson spent most of last season as Texas’ closer and thrived in a big way, posting a 2.99 ERA and 76/17 K/BB ratio over 72 1/3 innings while going 35-for-37 in save opportunities. He might face some competition from the likes of Sam Dyson or Keone Kela in the near future, but he’s expected to go into 2016 as the team’s closer.
We heard on Friday that that free agent Yovani Gallardo is expected to choose between the Orioles, Astros, or Rockies, but it appears that at least one of those teams isn’t as interested as has been reported.
While speaking at the Rockies’ Fan Fest event today, general manager Jeff Bridich told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that the team’s interest has been “fairly overblown” by Gallardo’s agent, former major league pitcher Bobby Witt. It’s rare you hear this sort of thing, so it’s hard to believe they’ll work together to find a deal at this point.
You can’t blame Gallardo’s agent for trying to drum up his market. While the veteran right-hander is coming off a career-low 3.42 ERA in 33 starts for the Rangers last season, his strikeout rate is on the decline and he’s attached to draft pick compensation. It’s a tough sell.
There are still a handful of interesting free agent pitchers remaining on the market, highlighted by the likes of Yovani Gallardo and Doug Fister. A former two-time Cy Young Award winner is hoping to make his case to teams soon.
According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Tim Lincecum is planning to hold a showcase for interested teams in the first two weeks of February. The 31-year-old underwent surgery last September to repair a torn labrum and an impingement in his left hip, but his agent told Shea that all has gone according to plan with his rehab.
“He’s throwing every day and says he’s doing great,” said Rick Thurman of the Beverly Hills Sports Council. “He’s got no instability in his hip, and he’s enthusiastic about his progress.”
Lincecum posted a 4.13 ERA (91 ERA+) and 60/38 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings over 15 starts last season and owns a 4.68 ERA (75 ERA+) dating back to 2012. He’s a bit of a lottery ticket at this point, but the hope is that his velocity and command will rebound now that his hip has been repaired.
Thurman says that nearly all 30 teams have contacted him about Lincecum, with at least 20 requesting medicals. The Giants haven’t ruled out a return, though they would only have room for him in their bullpen.