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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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.
The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.
Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.
Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.
The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.
Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.
Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.