The Orioles have been linked to free agent starter Yovani Gallardo as far back as the beginning of February, but the two sides have finally agreed to a three-year deal worth $35 million, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports. MASN’s Roch Kubatko confirms Heyman’s report. Heyman adds that the contract includes an option for a fourth year, and some of the $35 million will be deferred.
Gallardo, who turns 30 years old on February 27, turned down the Rangers $15.8 million qualifying offer, which influenced the right-hander’s free agency extending past the report date for pitchers and catchers. The Orioles will forfeit their first round draft pick. They’re likely not done, as the O’s have been linked to free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler as well.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings. Despite a sub-4.00 ERA in six of his last seven seasons, Gallardo saw his strikeout rate reach a career low 15.3 percent while his walk rate was a mediocre 8.6 percent. By ERA retrodictors FIP and xFIP, it was his worst performance out of his eight seasons with 100-plus innings. The Orioles, though, value him more for rotation stability than for any potential upside.
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