Rangers Enjoy Luxury of Allowing Gallardo to Walk

On Presidents Day the Rangers can afford to let solid veteran pitchers leave without as much as a shrug. Haven’t been able to type that sentence many times during my 30-year sports-writing career in DFW.

Usually on the eve of Spring Training they are scrambling for live arms. But this February, Yovani Gallardo can sign with the Orioles. Good riddance.

Still not officially a done deal, but multiple media outlets say the Orioles will sign Gallardo to a three-year contract this week. Last year the Rangers needed him to win the AL West. This year? Nope.

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General Manager Jon Daniels picked up Gallardo in the 2015 offseason from the Brewers for minor leaguers Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel and Marcos Diplan. He made 33 starts, had a 3.42 ERA, went 13-11 and won his only playoff start, a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays in Game 1 of the ALDS.

But with a projected rotation of Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Martin Perez, the Rangers can afford to let Gallardo go in free agency. They made him a qualifying offer, and will receive a supplemental first-round draft choice if and when he signs in Baltimore.

Gallardo did what Daniels envisioned in 2015. Ate up innings. Made solid starts. Even pitched well enough to win a playoff win against the best offense in baseball. But at 30 and with declining velocity, he just isn’t part of the Rangers’ plans for 2016 and beyond.

From the Rangers’ pitching-staff perspective, we call this progress.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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