Joey GalloTime is widely expected to be up in the Bronx by Tuesday’s close, and the Yankees have been exploring trading opportunities for the struggling outfielder. The Brewers, Padres and Rays are among the clubs that have expressed interest in the former All-Star, writes USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
San Diego discussed a Gallo deal during spring training and has been linked to the racquet market on numerous occasions in the past, dating back to Gallo’s time with Rangers. The Rays and Brewers were also interested in Gallo as of last year’s reporting date and look set to revisit a trade 12 months later.
Of course, quite a bit has happened to Gallo’s trade value over the past year, none of it good. After Gallo posted just a .707 OPS in 228 plate appearances as the Yankees in 2021, Gallo’s slump has only deepened this season. Gallo has hit just .159/.282/.339 with 12 homers over 273 PA, with a wRC+ of 81 (the league average is 100) and strikeout and touch rates that rank near the bottom of the league.
On the other hand, Gallo still posts excellent hard contact counts and his 14.7% walk rate is one of the best of any player in baseball. A .217 BABIP only adds to the frustration, but Gallo makes so little contact at all that his scuffles can’t be blamed solely on bad luck hitting the ball. That lack of production in the pinstripes is “something I’m really going to have to live with for the rest of my life,” Gallo told The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler earlier this week. “It’s going to be tough. I didn’t play well, I didn’t live up to expectations. And that’s a hard pill to swallow.”
The Yankees takeover Andreas Benintendi has all but confirmed Gallo will be treated, although what New York can expect in return is an open question. The 28-year-old fielder is a post-season free agent and owes him about $3.4 million for the rest of the year, making it quite possible the Yankees will have to eat up most or all of the money unless another unwanted contract is exchanged in return. While interested teams will certainly see Gallo as a candidate for a change of scenery, the Yankees don’t have much leverage in marketing him as such given it’s so widely known that the club are looking to part ways with the outfielder.
In the case of Tampa Bay, the Yankees are certainly wary of the idea of Gallo resurrecting himself against an AL East rival, and it’s fair to ask if New York would want more to move Gallo within the division. Given that, the Rays may have a clearer need for help in the field Manuel Margot, Harald Ramirezand Kevin Kiermaier are all injured, Kiermaier is out for the season after hip surgery.
However, the Rays already made a left-handed upfield upgrade and landed yesterday David Peralta in a trade with the Diamondbacks. It’s possible the move could push the Rays out of the Gallo market, though the club is still looking for more outfield depth, as Nightengale also reports Tampa is interested in the former Ray and current Red Tommy Pham.
Christian Jelich, Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroeand Tyrone Taylor made up Milwaukee’s outfield mix for much of the season, with McCutchen also receiving most of the DH time. Yelich is the only left-hander in the quartet and Gallo could partner with Taylor in midfield. 2019 was the only season Gallo has played a significant amount in midfield, but he has held his own defensively in midfield quite well, even if right field is his ideal position – Gallo has the last two gold gloves in right field of the American League won.