The Reds signed free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo to a one-year deal on Saturday, according to a team announcement. Terms of the contract have yet to be released, but Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the righty will received $750,000 in guaranteed money and stands to make up to $1 million with additional incentives. The Reds optioned fellow right-hander Zack Weiss to Triple-A Louisville and DFA’d catcher Stuart Turner in order to clear roster space for Gallardo.
It’s been something of a tumultuous offseason for the 32-year-old Gallardo, who inked a one-year, $2 million deal with the Brewers in December and was in the middle of transitioning to a relief role when manager Craig Counsell decided to leave him off the Opening Day roster — both in order to free up more room in the bullpen and because Gallardo had latched onto a 4.73 ERA through his first 13 1/3 innings in camp. He re-entered free agency following his release from the club last Monday, though he’s still expected to collect the $500,000 he was guaranteed in his initial deal with them. Spring training woes aside, the veteran right-hander is coming off of a rough year with the Mariners, one in which he labored through 22 starts and six relief appearances, collecting a 5-10 record, 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 through 130 2/3 innings.
While it certainly seems like the Reds could use some bullpen depth this spring, especially with Michael Lorenzen (right shoulder strain) and David Hernandez (right shoulder inflammation) sidelined indefinitely, Reds manager Bryan Price declined to define Gallardo’s new role on the team. “Right now, all those guys pitch when we need them,” he told reporters Saturday. “We don’t want to define roles so much. […] He’ll pitch when I need him to pitch. I’ve got great feedback on what kind of guy he is from a competitive standpoint. I think we’ve got a good one here.”
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.