The Yankees have been doing their best to creep back into the American League playoff picture over the past few weeks with an 8-3 stretch since dropping two out of three to the Mets earlier in July. The offense has fared better since the beginning of June, but still, another good bat would not hurt this team one bit — especially given the minimal production the team has received from its outfielders outside of Aaron Judge.
Rangers slugger Joey Gallo has been one of the names in the news, and we wrote about him as a trade deadline target just a week ago. Despite his low batting average, he’s one of the top names in trade talks for good reason. He’s hit 24 homers, leads baseball in walks with 76, and at .230/.388/.505, his 145 wRC+ ranks second-best among all AL outfielders. Gallo’s even a good defender, as his Outs Above Average and Outfielder Jump rank in the 95th and 90th percentile, respectively, per Baseball Savant. Oh, and for those who prioritize lineup balance, he’s a lefty bat perfectly suited for Yankee Stadium.
All that means that it’s not a stunner to hear about the Yankees’ reported interest in Gallo. Although the Rangers are in last place in the AL West, there’s not necessarily a guarantee that he’ll move since he’s not a free agent until after 2022. But he should be a very popular name on the market, and Texas at least seems to have an interest in some of the Yankees’ prospects. Most recently, their scouts were seen at a High-A Hudson Valley Renegades game:
#Yankees have long had interest in Joey Gallo and 1 of #Rangers top scouts saw High-A Hudson Valley yest. 2 of the orgs’ best prospects, Anthony Volpe/Ezequiel Duran combined for 6 hits in the game. Keep in mind this is a time in which lots of scouts are in lots of places— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 21, 2021
Baseball America Top-100 prospect Anthony Volpe is one of the Renegades’ best players, and Ezequiel Duran, Josh Breaux, Anthony Seigler, and Jake Sanford are all minor leaguers of note as well. Any package for Gallo is likely to have at least one notable prospect who GM Brian Cashman might be loathe to send packing, but you have to give something to get something. We’ll see how these talks go.
In more official Yankees news, the team officially activated their starting pitcher for tonight’s game, right-hander Asher Wojciechowski. The 32-year-old is a surprise pick since he’s only made four starts for Triple-A Scranton after recovering from a lat injury, but with Deivi García shaky and both Michael King and Nestor Cortes Jr. unavailable, the Yankees had to get creative to keep Jordan Montgomery in line to face the Red Sox and Rays.
So Asher it is, and in exchange, the Yankees sent infielder Hoy Park back to Triple-A Scranton.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 21, 2021
•Signed RHP Asher Wojciechowski (#61) to a Major League contract and selected him to the 26-man roster from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
•Outrighted INF Hoy Park off the Major League roster.
Park was among the bunch recalled after the Yankees’ COVID outbreak last week, though he only made one plate appearance in four possible games. Perhaps if Rougned Odor’s bat hadn’t been so hot, the 25-year-old batting .325/.475/.541 in Scranton could’ve seen more of a shot, but so it goes. DJ LeMahieu is over his stomach virus and back in the lineup, so there was even less of a need for Park. As this season has demonstrated, the team may very well need to break glass in case of emergency again.
No 40-man roster move was necessary, as Park was only up as a COVID-related measure.