Source: O's making progress with Gallardo

Source: O's making progress with Gallardo

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are moving closer to landing the best free-agent starter still available: Yovani Gallardo.

An industry source confirmed to Wednesday afternoon that Gallardo and Baltimore were in serious contract discussions on a three-year deal that would give the O's a key rotation piece. Gallardo -- who has been on the Orioles' radar all offseason -- has reportedly dropped his desired contract length with Spring Training approaching, and the O's have ramped up their efforts.

Gallardo, 29, pitched to a 13-11 record with a 3.42 ERA last season with the Rangers, who extended a qualifying offer to him this offseason. Because Gallardo rejected it, the Orioles would have to surrender their top Draft pick (No. 14 overall) to acquire him, a sticking point for an O's team that had targeted this year's Draft as a critical one to help replenish its Minor League system.

Getting Gallardo would send a message -- in an offseason where the Orioles have spent heavily already on keeping Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and Darren O'Day -- that the window to win is now, and ownership is willing to shell out the cash to do so. It would also significantly bolster a rotation, already coming off a collective down year, that lost its best starter in Wei-Yin Chen to free agency. Baltimore will receive an extra 2016 Draft pick -- No. 29 overall, which would become No. 28 if the O's forfeit the No. 14 pick -- after Chen signed with the Marlins. The Rangers would receive a compensation pick at the end of the first round for Gallardo. As the order currently stands, the pick would be No. 30, between the Nationals' and Mets' comp picks.

Over his Major League career, Gallardo owns a 102-75 record with a 3.66 ERA. An All-Star for the Brewers in 2010, he was originally drafted by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2004 Draft. Gallardo was traded to the Rangers before the start of last season.

Gallardo won 17 games and 16 games in back-to-back seasons for Milwaukee from 2011-12, and he's only posted one losing record (8-11 with a 3.51 ERA in 2014) in his big league career.

Gallardo would be joining a rotation that is projected to include Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez. was the first to report on Wednesday that talks were "progressing" between the Orioles and Gallardo.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.