Washington Nationals Trade Candidate: Yovani Gallardo

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals may be in need of a veteran starter at the trade deadline as Dan Haren continues to pitch poorly.

Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers could be a veteran starter, though he is 27, and of the ten teams on his no-trade list, Washington is excluded from that list. Gallardo is owed $11.25 million in 2014 and has a club option for $13 million in 2015, and with his age and career stats, should without a doubt be on Washington’s radar.

Gallardo seemingly fits Mike Rizzo‘s criteria for a trade target: Gallardo is young, cost controlled and could be a fixture in Washington’s rotation for years to come.

Gallardo carries a career record of 75-50 with a 3.69 ERA and currently has a streak of four-consecutive 200 plus strikeout seasons, and has won at least 13 games each year in the same time span. Gallardo is also coming off back-to-back seasons where he has pitched 200-plus innings, and has never allowed more hits than innings pitched (1015 IP/932 Hits).

Gallardo is the prototypical swing-and-miss kind of pitcher Rizzo loves, and has built into Washington’s rotation. What could work into Washington’s favor is the Brewers may not be able to set a high price because Gallardo is having a slightly off year, with his strikeouts per innings pitched being down (7.3) and his hits per nine innings stat is up a little (9.2). Gallardo, when he is on, however, does not walk many hitters and strikes out a lot of batters.

Washington, in my opinion, has the pieces for a deal, as Milwaukee has been looking for a first baseman since Prince Fielder left in free agency. As much as I would hate the move, Washington could set up a deal with Tyler Moore or Chris Marrero at the center, along with perhaps a reliever at either the major league or a minor league level.

Gallardo is probably on that second tier level as far as available starters go, and may not be available until very late into the deadline. But, if he becomes available, Rizzo should strike as he normally does, quietly and swiftly.

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