Yesterday the Texas Rangers acquired Yovani Gallardo from the Milwaukee Brewers. Texas dealt infielder Luis Sardinas, reliever Corey Knebel, and pitcher Marcos Diplan. This seems like a fair but high price for the services of the 28 year old Gallardo.
In Gallardo Texas gets a reliable innings eater in the middle of his career. Gallardo’s ERA has been consistently in the mid to high 3s over his career, last year being no exception with a respectable 3.51 ERA. The Mexican born pitcher had a FIP of 3.94 last year, suggesting his ERA will be somewhat higher this year. Gallardo has seasons worth as much as 4.5 WAR but is usually worth around 2 WAR for a season. He’s a quality middle of the rotation starter. Yu Darvish is the only starter on staff with a better WAR last year. Gallardo’s 1.7 WAR is fairly mediocre, after all Colby Lewis was worth 1.6 last year, but he will be a big improvement on a rotation that featured a pair of pitchers, Nick Martinez and Nick Tepesch, who combined for 1 WAR last year.
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The Rangers rotation now fits each potential starter in a more apt slot. Darvish and Holland create a choice 1-2 punch atop the rotation. Gallardo is a good option as a third pitcher in the rotation. Colby Lewis fits perfectly in the fourth position and Ross Detwiler is a capable fifth starter.
In exchange for Gallardo, Texas sends two of its top twenty prospects and solid MLB ready prospect. Corey Knebel was acquired by Texas at the 2014 deadline in the Joakim Soria deal. Knebel projects as a stellar back of the bullpen piece and a future closer. The University of Texas product has the stuff and the makeup to last a long time pitching near the end of games at the major league level.
The other top twenty prospect sent to Milwaukee is Marcos Diplan. The young flame thrower can touch 96 mph and projects as a starter. Diplan is undersized but has excellent command of stuff for his age. Diplan has essentially unlimited ceiling which is always desirable.
Luis Sardinas is a player Ranger fans are familiar with based on his arrival in Arlington last year. While Sardinas did little to really impress in his short stint, he did nothing to show he could not be a major league caliber short stop. Sardinas is a piece that makes the most sense to trade because of Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar being ahead of him on the depth chart.
In the end, the Rangers got an important piece for their major league club in Gallardo. They traded away three good but not elite prospects. To acquire a middle of the rotation piece without parting with any of your top prospects makes for a great trade.