Some news and notes around the AL West and the American League:
Yovani Gallardo traded to Texas
The Athletics will face Yovani Gallardo this year after the Texas Rangers traded youngsters Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and Marcos Diplan to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Rangers will also get $4 million from the Brewers to cover part of the $14 million Gallardo will earn this year. Justin Millar of MLB Daily Dish writes:
According to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, infielder Luis Sardinas, right-handed pitcher Corey Knebel, and right-hander Marcos Diplan are all heading to Milwaukee in the deal.
The Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers are apparently close to a trade that will send right-hander Yovani Gallardo to Texas, as the New York Post's Joel Sherman reports that a deal has been agreed to "in principle", with the clubs currently engaging in medical reviews. MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo initially reported that the Rangers were on the verge of adding a starter, while FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi were the first to report that a deal between Texas and Milwaukee was close to fruition.
The right-handed Gallardo was 8-11 over 32 starts with a 3.51 ERA, 3.94 FIP, and 3.64 xFIP in 2014, striking out 146 and walking 54 in 192⅓ innings. Gallardo should slot in after Yu Darvish and Nick Holland in the Rangers rotation, ahead of Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, Nick Tepesch, and Nick Martinez.
Old friend alert: Dan Straily headed to Houston with Luis Valbuena
The Astros traded Dexter Fowler to the Chicago Cubs for former Athletic Dan Straily and infielder Luis Valbuena. Straily will be in competition for a spot in the rotation that could include Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer, and Brad Peacock. Peacock may miss the start of the season recovering from hip surgery.
Either Jake Marisnick or George Springer now appear to move into the starting centerfielder role for the Astros, with Valbuena to play third base potentially in the longer side of a platoon with right-handed batter Matt Dominguez.
Ryan Vogelsong talking with Houston
The Houston Astros are in "serious discussions" with free agent Ryan Vogelsong, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Nothing will be finalized tonight, however, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. The rumor has Brian Stevenson at the Crawfish Boxes wondering about Vogelsong's role:
Vogelsong may be next in line of the veteran starters that Luhnow has brought in to fill the nebulous "long man's" role on the club. Edgar Gonzalez, Philip Humber, Jerome Williams, and now, perhaps, Vogelsong. That list would hardly put him in good company, yet when injuries hit, when prospects prove they're not quite ready yet, those men have the ability to step in an potentially provide non-embarrassing performances on short notice. There's value in that.
Max Scherzer leaves the American League
With the Nationals completing their super-rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, and Doug Fister, bumping Tanner Roark out of the rotation, I took the opportunity to have a little fun with the breaking news banner last night:
Considered a breaking news post for AN, thought better of it. pic.twitter.com/RwU5PE6iuA— Jeremy F. Koo (@jfkooAN) January 19, 2015
Old friend alert: Kila's back
Speaking of the Nationals, Kila Ka'aihue returns to American baseball for the first time since being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks' Triple-A club in Reno on June 2, 2013. Ka'aihue spent the last two years playing for the Hiroshima Carp of the Japan Central League, batting .258/.358/.443 in 600 plate appearances while hitting 26 home runs, drawing 77 walks, and striking out 150 times.
The Athletics designated Ka'aihue for assignment on June 6, 2012 to call up Brandon Moss. He cleared waivers and played the remainder of 2012 in Triple-A Sacramento. For Washington, Ka'aihue signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
One of Ka'aihue's 15 career MLB home runs was hit off of Max Scherzer: