Jon Morosi of Fox Sports is reporting that in addition to their pursuit of Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto, the Royals are interested in Rangers right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo. The 29-year old Gallardo is 7-9 with a 2.91 ERA and 3.69 FIP this year, his first in Texas, with 1.7 fWAR. He was acquired by the Rangers last winter after eight seasons in Milwaukee, where he once pitched under current Royals manager Ned Yost. He was an All-Star in 2010 and won 17 games in 2011.
In nine Major League seasons Gallardo is 96-73 with a 3.63 ERA. He has struck out 8.4 per-nine-ninnings, although that number has declined considerably the last two seasons, to 6.1 this year. Gallardo is an impending free agent this winter, and will earn $14 million with Milwaukee sending Texas $4 million to cover his salary this season.
Gallardo has seen his velocity decline this year, although he still averages 90.5 mph with his fastball. He throws one of the better sliders in the game, and can also change-up and curve. Gallardo is a ground-ball pitcher, inducing dribblers over 50% of the time this year. He was on fire through July, allowing just two runs over six consecutive starts for an ERA of 0.45 over that time. He has dropped his last three outings however, giving up 12 runs in 15 1/3 innings. Gallardo has never pitched at Kauffman Stadium.
In addition to Gallardo and Cueto, the Royals have been linked to pitchers like Jeff Samardzija of the White Sox, Mike Leake of the Reds and Scott Kazmir of the Athletics. With Jason Vargas lost for the season, there is even more pressure for the Royals to add a pitcher by the July 31 trade deadline.