Brewers GM Doug Melvin continues to be frank about how the trade deadline may shape up for his underachieving team. Talking to Anthony Witrado of Sporting News, Melvin said on Monday, "For us to win games moving forward, Yovani [Gallardo] should be a part of that, but some teams get in pennant races and need that one guy to get them over the hump. It’s not a slam dunk that I’m going to trade Yovani or [Kyle] Lohse, but you never know. There’s a lot we have to consider about our club right now."
Gallardo is "already a guy teams are charting," an NL Major League scout told Witrado. The 27-year-old righty may emerge as the best starting pitcher available this summer. Cliff Lee may not be available (and some teams would be priced out anyway), while Jake Peavy is on the DL with a rib fracture and Matt Garza comes with the uncertainty of a ten-month layoff. Plus, as Melvin explained, "That Yovani is not a free agent like guys like [Zack] Greinke or Anibal Sanchez last year, he has more value than just two months of a rental, so the package from another team has to be something that will wow me."
Gallardo will have about $2.6MM remaining in 2013 salary at the July trade deadline, and then is owed $11.25MM in 2014 and has a $13MM club option with a $600K buyout for 2015. He can block trades to ten teams, including the Orioles. Having strung together 21 scoreless innings over his last three outings, Gallardo chopped his ERA from 5.25 to 4.09 in the course of about two weeks. Overall he hasn't missed bats this year like he used to, but he still looks like a sub-4.00 ERA pitcher moving forward. The Orioles, Padres, and Giants are among the contenders known to be seeking starting pitching, but almost any team could make room for Gallardo.
Melvin spoke in praise of relievers John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez, who appear to be trade candidates. The Brewers make for an interesting seller, as Lohse is another useful starter and they could offer up one of the market's better bats in Aramis Ramirez.