After being linked to Ian Kennedy, who has since signed with the Kansas City Royals, the Colorado Rockies continue to be linked to the top available free agent starting pitching. This time the new target is Yovani Gallardo, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman:
Rockies, looking for a starter and pen help, are now considering top remaining SP Yovani Gallardo— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 21, 2016
Though the extent of the Rockies' interest isn't entirely clear at this point, the two sides are expected to have talks "very soon," indicates SB Nation's Chris Cotillo.
Considering how thin next year's free agent class is, and the Rockies' contention window possibly opening next year, signing a veteran free agent pitcher like Gallardo this year to a four-year deal might make sense.
At first glance, in his age 29 season, Gallardo seems to be the same pitcher that he has been his entire career, with an ERA of 3.66 and FIP of 4.00. Those numbers are right in line with his career ERA of 3.66 and FIP of 3.75. However, his peripherals have dropped off in recent years as he only struck out 5.9 K/9, a considerable drop from his career numbers of 8.2 K/9, while maintaining his career walk rate of 3.3 BB/9.
The other big downside to a potential signing of Gallardo is that the Rangers offered him a qualifying offer, which he rejected at the beginning of the offseason. Thus, if the Rockies do sign him, they will lose their Competitive Balance Round A pick, which is currently slotted at No. 38.
The dropping peripherals as well as the cost of forfeiting a pick would give me serious pause at signing Gallardo as it would still most likely take a four-year deal at an increased price to get him to come pitch at Coors Field.