Wednesday’s roundup: Orioles, Gallardo reportedly close

News wire services

Multiple reports indicate the Oriols are close to a deal with right-hander Yovani Gallardo, the most prominent free agent pitcher still on the market.

Gallardo was close to signing a three-year deal worth $40 million-$45 million, according to mlb.com’s Jon Heyman and ESPN’s Buster Olney.

If the Orioles sign Gallardo, they might then sign free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler, foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported.

A nine-year veteran coming off a solid season with the Rangers, Gallardo went 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts in 2015. He struck out 121 and walked 68 in 184-1/3 innings.

Even if they lost their first-round pick, No. 14 overall, to sign Gallardo, the Orioles would still have five picks among the first 100 in this year's draft. But relinquishing the first pick could also allow them to be a player for free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler.

Fowler, who declined a qualifying offer from the Cubs, would also require losing a pick, but if the Orioles signed Gallardo, they would be much more open to making a run at Fowler, who would cost the Orioles the 29th overall pick but could also solve their corner outfield hole.

Fowler, who turns 30 on March 22, had a strong season with the Cubs last year, hitting .250/.346/.411 while setting career highs in runs scored (102), home runs (17) and RBIs (46). The eight-year veteran's career .363 on-base average would upgrade an area of need for the Orioles.

Contract talks

First baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants agreed to a $6.2 million, one-year contract.

The deal was completed just before the scheduled start of their salary arbitration hearing.

The agreement was $200,000 below the midpoint between the $7.5 million Belt had asked for and the $5.3 million the Giants had offered. Belt made $3.6 million last year.

Belt, 27, hit .280 with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs last year.

... First baseman Mitch Moreland has agreed to a $5.7 million, one-year contract with the Rangers, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Moreland made $2,975,000 last season, when he hit .278 with 23 home runs and 85 RBIs in 132 games, starting 110 of those at first base.

When the sides exchanged figures last month, Moreland asked for $6 million and Texas offered $4.7 million. Texas hasn’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2000 with Lee Stevens.

Around the horn

Houston designated hitter Evan Gattis underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Gattis had the surgery Tuesday and will be out 4-6 weeks.

... The Braves say they still do not know if the Hank Aaron statue will be moved from Turner Field to the team’s new SunTrust Park, which will open in 2017.

Keisha Lance Bottoms, the executive director of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution an agreement was reached with the Braves the bronze statue would not move.

The Braves say there is no agreement.

The authority believes it owns the statue.