We finally have our answer. Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entire 2014 season giving the Yankees about an extra $20 million+ to mess around with. This seems to make the Yankees the favorites because they were already reported to be aggressive and now have more cash in their pocket. The Dodgers have a lot of money in their pockets too and are not afraid to spend it. However, many people believe the Dodgers won’t go crazy on spending for Masahiro Tanaka even after saying they “will not be outbid”.
The thought around baseball is the Dodgers have too many pitchers as it is to go after Tanaka. The Dodgers pitching rotation already includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun- Jin Ryu, Dan Haren, Chad Billingsley, and Josh Beckett. Not to mention, the Dodgers will have to pay Kershaw roughly $30 million a year starting in 2015 if they want to retain him. Although the Yankees appear the favorite for Tanaka, who can fill the void if he were to sign elsewhere?
It is a little bit of a long shot, but Yovani Gallardo is someone the Yankees should strongly consider. The Yankees need pitching and would become more desperate then they already are if they cannot convince Tanaka to come to New York. That being said, talks could escalate quickly between the two. Gallardo is a stud and would be an excellent fit with the Yankees.
Since 2009, Yovani Gallardo has been one of the better pitchers in the game. In that span he has averaged 32 starts, 193 innings, a 14-10 record while compiling a 3.78 ERA and a 1.31 whip. He also averaged 192 strikeouts but that number just like his ERA are a little misleading because of his 2013 campaign. If you exclude last season and just look at 2009- 2012, Yovani Gallardo was much better, averaging 32 starts, 196 innings, a 15-10 record while compiling a 3.68 ERA and a 1.29 whip as well as striking out an average of 204 batters. Keep in mind, this is the average season Gallardo had in the four years leading up to this past season.
Unfortunately for Yovani Gallardo, he dropped off a bit in 2013 going 12-10 with an ERA over 4 for the first time in his career. His strikeouts saw a significant decline at 144 after reaching at least 200 the previous four seasons. There isn’t much to worry about statistically though because Gallardo turns only 28 in February and his two best seasons came just prior to 2013.
In 2011, Gallardo went 17-10 with 3.52 ERA while striking out 207 in the same number of innings. He followed that season up by going 16-9 with a 3.66 ERA. He again had the same amount of strikeouts as innings pitched, this time the number being 204. Gallardo also has a ground ball percentage of at least 45 % in four of the last five season which has steadily increased to 49.2 % in 2013. His ability to induce ground balls and strike guys hitters would work beautifully in Yankee Stadium.
Again, this would only be a route the Yankees take if they don’t sign Tanaka. At that point, the question then becomes “How desperate are the Yankees?”. The Brewers would ask for a lot of talent in return because Yovani Gallardo is still under contract for two years. They would also ask the Yankees to pay all of his salary for the remaining two more years.
Gallardo will make $11.25 million in 2014 and has a $13 million team option in 2015 which will obviously be picked up because he is worth more than that. I would love to have Yovani Gallardo but I just don’t see it happening because the Brewers asking price would be through the roof. If the Yankees reach a point where they are desperate enough, such as not reaching a deal with Tanaka, I can see a Yovani Gallardo deal being a real possibility. As of now, it doesn’t seem likely.