MLB Hot Stove rumors: Brewers bring back Yovani Gallardo for pitching depth

The Milwaukee Brewers have turned to a familiar face to help address their need for rotation depth.

Saturday evening, the Brewers reportedly agreed to terms with free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who spent the first eight seasons of his career in Milwaukee. Terms of the deal are unknown and the club has not yet confirmed the signing.

Gallardo, 31, was Milwaukee's second-round pick in the 2004 draft, and he spent the 2007-14 seasons with the team before being traded away. Gallardo's best seasons came with the Brewers from 2009-14. He then bounced from the Rangers to the Orioles to the Mariners.

This past season Gallardo threw 130 2/3 innings with a 5.72 (74 ERA+) for Seattle, a performance that prompted a demotion to the bullpen. He threw 118 innings with a 5.42 ERA (79 ERA+) for the Orioles in 2016. His 5.57 ERA is seventh highest among the 129 pitchers to throw at least 200 innings from 2016-17.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Seattle Mariners
Yovani Gallardo is returning to the Brewers as pitching depth. USATSI

With Gallardo on board and Matt Garza becoming a free agent, the Brewers' rotation depth chart looks something like this:

  1. Jimmy Nelson (currently rehabbing from shoulder surgery)
  2. Chase Anderson
  3. Zach Davies
  4. Brent Suter
  5. Yovani Gallardo
  6. Aaron Wilkerson

Pitching prospect Brandon Woodruff is expected to get an extended chance with the Brewers next season, and the team could move Josh Hader from the bullpen into the rotation. He was dynamite in relief this past season, though he came up through the minors as a starter, and the club may want to give him a shot in that role.

The Brewers, thanks to their wealth of cheap young (and productive) players, have a chance to made a big addition to their rotation this offseason, perhaps signing someone like Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb. The Gallardo signing won't prevent that. It is presumably a low-base salary deal and he can always be moved to the bullpen, if necessary.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... Full Bio

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