When news surfaced that Yovani Gallardo was being traded to the Rangers, many speculated that this move would set the stage for the Brewers to make a run at free agent right-hander James Shields. However, it sounds like they have other plans.
According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said this afternoon that he doesn’t see the club pursuing Shields. For what it’s worth, he also said that he hasn’t heard that Jordan Zimmermann is available via trade from the Nationals.
Assuming Melvin stays true to his word and stands pat with his rotation, the Gallardo trade paves the way for Jimmy Nelson to get an extended opportunity. It’s not as exciting as Shields or Zimmermann, but it’s not such a terrible thing. The 25-year-old right-hander posted a 4.93 ERA with a 57/19 K/BB ratio in 69 1/3 innings across 12 starts and two relief appearances last season. Shedding some of Gallardo’s salary (they’ll ultimately save $10 million) could also enable the Brewers to bring back Francisco Rodriguez or sign Rafael Soriano.