Bobby substantially covered this last night as word first broke, but now, it’s official.
The New York Yankees today announced that they have acquired INF/OF Joey Gallo, LHP Joely Rodriguez and cash considerations from the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Glenn Otto and infielders Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver and Josh Smith.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 29, 2021
The structure of the deal changed from the version reported last night. Instead of lefty John King, the Yankees are receiving southpaw Joely Rodríguez as a secondary piece. Additionally, prospects Everson Pereira and Randy Vasquez are no longer in the deal. Reports also indicate that the Rangers will pay all of the salaries for Gallo and Rodriguez this year, so the Yankees still have room to make deals under the luxury tax.
Aaron Boone said before today’s game that Gallo and Rodríguez should be ready for tomorrow’s series in Miami.
It seems that the Yankees balked at King’s medicals. He’s currently on the injured list with a shoulder injury. So, I’ll provide a quick briefing on Rodriguez. For everyone else involved in the deal, check out Bobby’s work last night.
Jaime is going to dig deeper into Rodríguez in the coming days, so I’ll just provide the nuts and bolts. The lefty reliever has appeared in 31 games for Texas this year (27.1 innings) and owns a 5.93 ERA (3.70 FIP). He was much better last year when he tossed 12.2 innings of 2.13 ERA ball (1.69 FIP).
Rodríguez generates a lot of ground balls (63.9% this season), which tracks with the Yankees’ current bullpen composition (see: Zack Britton, Jonathan Loaisiga, and the newly added Clay Holmes). As Mike Axisa pointed out in this morning’s RAB Patreon post, it may be in response to the sticky stuff enforcement and spin rates dropping.
The Yankees have a $3 million club option ($500k buyout) on Rodríguez for 2022. These next two months will likely be a referendum on that contract decision. The 29 year-old is out of minor league options, so the Yankees will have no choice but to try him out in the major league bullpen.