Yovani Gallardo's performances are taking a turn for the worst at the wrong time for the Texas Rangers.
After a stellar run of eight starts, which featured a scoreless inning streak of more than 30 innings, Gallardo has put up three not-so-great starts in a row, capped by Sunday's dud against the Houston Astros and Dallas Keuchel.
The veteran righty gave up a season-high five earned runs on Sunday and lasted just four innings on seven hits. He walked three and struck out one. In his last three starts, he's walked 12 batters and failed to make it out of the sixth inning once.
Why is this bad for the Rangers?
Well, it's because the MLB non-waiver trade deadline is coming up in 11 days. Gallardo has two starts before that — against the first-place Los Angeles Angels and at home against the New York Yankees. Gallardo has had a great year for the Rangers, and his ERA is still under 3.00 at 2.91, and he's still the Rangers' best trade chip of guys they're likely to deal (so not including guys like Prince Fielder).
Gallardo is a free agent after this year, meaning he'd be a rental for whichever team acquires him via trade. If the Rangers keep him and then lose him to free agency, they'd receive a top draft pick as compensation, so in order to trade him they must consider if the return would be greater than the draft pick compensation. In Gallardo's case, you'd have to think it would be as a solid veteran starter with postseason experience who could be a great No. 3 starter in a postseason rotation.
This recent run isn't enough to diminish Gallardo's value, but it's enough to make a team think twice about him. A good run over this next 11 days would be a big plus for the Rangers, though, and who knows, they might trade him and then go sign the Fort Worth native this winter in free agency.