Yankees Trade Target: Joey Gallo

Just because the Yankees have played themselves out of the division race doesn’t mean that they can’t buy at this Friday’s deadline. For one, they’re still hanging around the Wild Card hunt, even if that hold is tenuous. Two, and perhaps more importantly, the team should eye players that can also help them next year. The Rangers’ Joey Gallo represents just that.

Background & Performance

Gallo, 27, was the Rangers’ first round-supplemental pick in 2012 out of high school. The Nevada-born Gallo annihilated minor league pitching and made the majors by 2015, when he was just 21 years-old. He didn’t stick until a couple of seasons later, but now, he’s become a terrific player on both sides of the ball. He’s one of the league’s premier power hitters and is a terrific defender too.

At the plate, the left-handed hitting Gallo owns a lifetime .211/.336/.496 (116 wRC+) and has swatted 144 homers in 2,169 plate appearances. He’s got a couple of 40 home run seasons under his belt (2017 and 2018) and is on his way to another this year (24 so far). This year’s offensive performance rivals his 2019 campaign, when he was an absolute monster in an injury-shortened season.

  • 2019: .253/.389/.598, 144 wRC+, 22 HR in 297 PA, 17.5/38.4 BB/K%
  • 2021: .222/.380/.484, 139 wRC+, 24 HR in 384 PA, 19.3/32.3 BB/K%

The power was better in ’19, but as a reminder, that was the rocket-ball year. And it’s not like he’s slouching in terms of power this season, of course. Plus, he’s walking more and striking out less often this season.

Those strikeout rates north of 30 percent surely will freak out many folks, and understandably so. The Yankees already have a bunch of high strikeout players. Don’t we want to see some lineup diversity? Yes, I too would prefer not another guy who strikes out this much. But at the same time, the Yankees don’t have any lefty power in the lineup. Gallo is a prolific left-handed slugger that the Yankees badly need, even with the big swing-and-miss in his game.

He’s trending in the right direction, at least.

By the way, Gallo is more than just an acquisition to help the lineup through 2022. He’s a great defensive outfielder too. Gallo won the Gold Glove in right field last year and already has +6 OAA at the position in 2021. He can also play a fine center field — 0 OAA in 410.2 innings — and we know how badly the Yankees need help in that spot. Gallo’s got one of the sport’s best throwing arms, gets good jumps (90th percentile), and can run fairly well (56th percentile sprint speed).

There could be some potential versatility in the corner infield spots, too. Texas drafted him as a third baseman, which is what he made the majors as. He hasn’t played at the hot corner since 2017, and to be fair, he rated pretty poorly there according to OAA. Gallo played some first base in 2016, 2017, and 2018 too. He may not be a plus option there, and there’s probably some rust to shake off, but perhaps he could at least be used as need in those spots.

Injury History

Gallo has been on the injured list three times in his career. In 2017, he missed eight days due to a concussion. His least-healthy season was 2019, when he missed 23 days due to an oblique injury and 68 days because of wrist surgery. This year, he’s dealt with a couple of minor leg injuries that sidelined him for just a few days. Nothing IL-related.

Contract

Gallo signed for $6.2 million this season and is owed less than half of that amount the rest of the way. Next year will be his final arbitration season, meaning that he’s not a free agent until after 2022. That means the Yankees can acquire roughly a year-and-a-half of Gallo right now.

The Rangers are reportedly trying to sign Gallo to an extension, which may be the team’s ultimatum. Sign now at our price or we’re going to trade you. Or, hey Rangers fans: we tried. I don’t think the Scott Boras client is signing an extension now.

What would a trade look like?

There aren’t many good trade comps for a player like Gallo with a year-and-change of team control left. The two most recent midseason deals of players with similar contract statuses are last year’s Starling Marte trade and 2018’s Jonathan Schoop trade.

Last year, the Diamondbacks sent Marte (who had a 2021 club option) to the Marlins for:

  • 3.5 years of LHP Caleb Smith
  • 6 years of Humberto Mejía
  • A-ball LHP Julio Frias

In 2018, the Orioles dealt Schoop to Milwaukee for:

  • 2.5 years of INF Jonathan Villar
  • Double-A RHP Luis Ortiz (MLB top-100 prospect)
  • Rookie-ball SS Jean Carmona

Marte was a far better player than Schoop at the time of the trade, and yet, Schoop fetched a better return. Marte is also far more comparable as a player to Gallo than Schoop, and in fact, Marte actually may be a better player overall. So, it’s pretty hard to look at these two deals and mimic them from the Yankees perspective.

So that was helpful, huh? In any case, I’ll throw my trade proposal at the wall and see if it sticks: SS Oswald Peraza, RHP Deivi García, LHP Ken Waldichuk, and RHP Alexander Vizcaíno.

I have nothing to lose here, so sure, why not. One top-100 prospect on the upswing (Peraza), one top-100 prospect who’s seen his stock fall (García), a breakout arm (Waldichuk), and a big arm in Vizcaíno.

Advertisements

Previous

DoTF: Homers galore for top prospects

Next

A Look at the Midseason Prospect Reports

8 Comments

  1. JG (Brendan Ryan)

    So they didn’t even have to give up Vizcaino or Peraza. Pretty nice.

  2. Lazzeri

    Hard pass on trading for Gallo. Trade everyone you can off this awful roster. Start building a real team around Cole and the staff. Trade Stanton for another bad contract, he is such an anchor in every way for this team. Fire Boone immediately.

  3. Esteddardban Florial

    They shouldn’t be trading for anyone, Derek. It would be better to do trading chips posts at this point. They could trade Britton, Chappy, DJ, anybody and everybody should go. One of the reasons the Sox win so many WS is because they know when to sell a Mookie Betts and retool. We don’t. And we are hell bent on being mediocre. Just as long as we finish above .500 it’s a successful season so they can say they’ve been over .500 for 30 years but only 1 WS in the last 20. Cubbies have put everybody on the block and we need to do the same. The window has closed and was broken into a million pieces yesterday.

    • I think Gallo and Marte would help the team with left handed power and a good lead off hitter. DJ has to move down. Love to get Rizzo too. This team needs a shakeup. However I think in your trade proposal the Yanks are giving up too much. Peraza and Garcia look like sure fire major leaguers. The other two probable. I think Peraza is gone since they took him out of the lineup yesterday. No problem with that. Volpe looks like SS of the future. A lesser option would be Marte and Peralta.

  4. Dani

    Pass. Another guy that can’t hit for avg is exactly what the Yanks don’t need.

  5. HenryKrinkle

    Then what? You sign him to a long-term deal? You’ll have Judge, Gallo, and Sanchez all heading into free agency at the same time. I’d rather keep the SS that’s closest to the majors, and keep an arm that you’ll certainly need in ’22. Simply adding a high K LHH, to go with your other high K RHHs, doesn’t do much for me. If you were replacing one of them — like Stanton (and his contract) for Gallo — that would be different, but that’s nearly impossible right now. Are you willing to let Judge walk and sign a younger Gallo, to a longer term deal, to play RF?

  6. Scout

    I’d be happy if the Yankees acquired Gallo, and I won’t be surprised if they surrender a top-level middle-infield prospect here or in another deal. The swing-and-miss issue for Gallo is real, but there are other solutions, e.g., in the post-season, move some other high-strikeout bat(s). Overall, the line-up needs work, and it’s important to replace the “black hole” hitters (sadly, Gardner) with more productive ones.

  7. Dan A.

    I’m not sure how to judge acquiring Gallo. The lineup needs more diversity. Gallo gives lefty power (something we don’t have!). But, he’s another three true outcome hitter–something the lineup as a whole has too much of. I think he’s a fit, but not a great fit. I’d rather save our prospects for someone who can put the ball in play a lot more. Adam Frazier would have been perfect.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén