Gallardo will help stabilize rotation

Righty gets two-year, $22 million deal with club option

February 25th, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Yovani Gallardo admitted that the past week has been a little bit different. But the right-hander, who had his initial agreement with the Orioles change after Monday's MRI, said at Thursday's introductory news conference that he was just glad the two sides were able to get something done.

"It's part of the process, to be honest. I think it's part of the situation -- becoming a free agent -- but everything for me, I'm passed that," said Gallardo, who agreed to a two-year, $22 million contract with a team option. "I'm looking forward to being on this club and pitching for this team and going out every fifth day or whenever my name is called and doing everything I can to get this team a victory."

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Gallardo, who turns 30 on Saturday, has averaged 191 innings over the past seven seasons and has never had any significant shoulder or elbow injuries. In fact, one of the things that Baltimore liked most about the right-hander is his rather spotless medical history.

The Orioles are incredibly thorough in their physical examinations, and even though Gallardo didn't show any injury symptoms in his shoulder, they determined that taking a year off the initial terms was the best option.

"Yovani helps us, because he's shown us he's a very dependable starter," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "He's up to the challenge of going against the best pitchers, and he's done that in the course of his career. I think when you have dependable starting pitchers, and you have the experience that Yovani has, the other pitchers, the younger pitchers, they have a good role model. They can watch him do his job, but I think they can set in comfortably and do their job."

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Gallardo joins Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Miguel Gonzalez in the Orioles' rotation. The quartet were among the large group of players who attended the news conference to show their support.

"It's a great group from what I learned today," Gallardo said of his new teammates. "They did a great job. They made me feel comfortable and welcome here in the clubhouse. I'm excited. I'm excited to be part of this club and looking forward to winning a lot of ballgames with you guys. I was anxious to get started right away and I'm happy to be here."

Gallardo won't throw until Saturday as he eases into things in, but he'll start the acclimation process right away. His locker is situated next to Jimenez and Jeff Beliveau.

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While Gallardo will be counted on to help stabilize the rotation, manager Buck Showalter reminded the group assembled Thursday that it will take contributions everywhere.

"We still have to do all the other things a game entails in order to be consistent and win a baseball game. So whether Darren O'Day came back or Chris Davis came back or Matt Wieters came back, those things are the sum of the parts," Showalter said. "Obviously the guys that are here are all part of it. Yovani will be the first to tell you he's going to try to do his part and be somebody we are going to trust and depend on. Nothing more, nothing less. We feel good about that time of commitment for someone like him."