KC Royals: Pursuing Yovani Gallardo; Sign Dillon Gee
By John Viril
The KC Royals are one of three teams chasing former Milwaukee Brewer starter Yovani Gallardo, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo.
In more Kansas City Royals Rumors, CBS Sports Jon Heyman reports that the team has agreed to a minor-league deal with former New York Mets starter Dillon Gee:
Clearly, KC Royals GM Dayton Moore has decided to allow the Alex Gordon situation to simmer and turned his attention to his starting rotation.
[Update: The Dillon Gee contract includes an early March 2 opt out clause if he is not added to the 40-man roster, which is about two weeks after the pitchers spring training report date. Gee apparently had major-league offers from “rebuilding” clubs that he spurned for a chance to play for the KC Royals, according to Ben Nicholson of sportsnet.ca]
Gee is a depth signing similar to bringing in Joe Blanton and Chris Young last season. The soon to be 30-year-old Dillion Gee opened the season in the New York Mets rotation, but got rocked for a 5.90 ERA in seven starts. Despite advanced metrics like FIP suggesting that Gee was the same pitcher he has been throughout his career (which implies that his poor results were simply bad luck or bad defense), the Mets made the rather understandable decision that Noah Syndergaard offered more upside.
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After the Mets shelved Gee, he took a mid-season release rather than accept a minor league assignment in New York.
At his best, Gee is a bottom-of-the-rotation innings eater that doesn’t miss many bats (career K/9 of 6.5). He’s a ground ball pitcher that was likely poorly served by the Mets laughable infield defense last season. While not an innings horse due to his mediocre results in his six year career, he did eat 199.0 innings for New York as recently as 2013 when he went 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA.
With the Kansas City Royals, Gee figures to be rotation depth in case of injury. He could be a candidate to join Chris Young as a long reliever.
The also soon to be 30-year-old Yovani Gallardo was once viewed as a top of the rotation talent in Milwaukee. Gallardo has seen his K/9 dip from more than 9.0 to 5.9 as his average fastball velocity declined from 92.7 mph to 90.4 mph in 2015. However, Gallado did put up a solid season for the Texas Rangers with a 13-11 record and 3.42 ERA in 184.1 innings pitched despite the low 5.9 K/9.
At this point, Yovani Gallardo is an innings eater who keeps the ball on the ground. He’s more of a mid-rotation talent that figures to achieve better results in front of Kansas City’s strong infield defense and away from the bandbox in Texas.
Next: What Should The KC Royals Spend On An Outfielder?
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore is clearly continuing the strategy of building an elite bullpen to support a rotation with depth, but only middling talent. Moore also seems to be targeting ground ball pitchers, who could be the undervalued talent in this year’s free agent market.