Which teams want to trade for Joey Gallo?
One year to the day since Joey Gallo was traded from the Texas Rangers to the New York Yankees, we take a look at how it has worked out for him.
Today is June 29, 2022. Exactly one year ago today, the Texas Rangers sent Joey Gallo to the Yankees. The deal, over a year in the making, broke the hearts of Ranger fans all over the world. Full disclosure, I am a lifelong Texas Rangers devotee, and though my job has taken me to Madrid, Spain, I am still a Ranger fan through and through.
Yankee fans rejoiced the arrival of the cannon-armed outfielder who could hit a baseball a country mile, sure. Why wouldn’t they? The feeling around Arlington, however, was one of “deja-vu, all over again”.
For decades now, the rest of the league has watched their best and brightest eventually get swallowed up by the Yankee machine, and in particular Texas, who have at time seemed like a AAA-plus farm team for New York, serving up player after player to the Steinbrenner altar.
Joey was the perfect fit for Texas. Defensively unparalleled, with an arm that could gun anyone at any base on virtually any play, he was known around the league as a power-hitter, who could launch the right pitch into the stratosphere. But there were issues at the plate. He has always, but always, been a very low-average hitter. The ball flies off the bat, sure. But eight out of ten times, he is pretty much a guaranteed out.
Quite famously, Gallo has a gaping hole in his swing. He likes low-and-in pitches and will pull every contact that he makes. All of those memes flying around social media, talking about how MLB should ban the shift, showing a stacked right side of the infield? Dollars to donuts they were pictures of Joey Gallo.
In Texas, Joey was a star. His defensive play more than made up for any hitting deficiencies that he might have had. When he got the occasional blast, it was enough to keep him in everyone’s hearts.
But the New York Yankees are a different bunch. The fans, and the club for that matter, simply will not tolerate anything less than excellence. When Joey gets into a slump and his average dips to .179, the Bronx bullhorns start screaming for his head, calling him a busted flush and crying out for the Yankees to deal him away this season.
MLB.com quotes a National League executive as saying that “If he (Gallo) continues to struggle, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them (the Yankees) try to flip him.” The feeling is that Joey still has all of the tools that it takes to make a star, but the pressure cooker of New York is not the place where he can find his groove.
If the Yankees do put Gallo on the trading block, several teams would have strong interest in him, including the Padres, the Phillies, and the Brewers. Both San Diego and Milwaukee would make for an interesting lineup with Joey on their roster, for sure. He is the type of hitter that can augment a strong batting order, but being charged with all of the heavy lifting might make for disaster.
Joey thrived in Texas because the Rangers had a solid batting order that could score runs, admittedly through singles and doubles, without him. He added the extra spice of an occasional blast, but with no real pressure on him to produce, he wound up producing big. If he can get back to that position again, he could become a perennial All-Star. It just isn’t likely to happen in pinstripes.