With the rest of the American League loading up, the Yankees finally made their move. The Bombers consummated a long-rumored deal, acquiring outfielder Joey Gallo from the Rangers. Jeff Passan reports he trade is pending a medical review. The Yankees will also receive left-handed pitcher
John King Joely Rodríguez.
Gallo, 27, brings some added pop to a lineup that’s had its ups and downs in 2021. He’s slashed a robust .223/.379/.490, which equates to a sparkling 139 OPS+. Gallo has only appeared in right field this season, but has experience in left, at both infield corners, and even in center.
The trade was originally reported by multiple sources with King instead of Rodriguez, but the YES Network’s Jack Curry (who is about as plugged in as anyone) tweeted the change. Both are lefties, though Rodriguez isn’t as good as King. Thanks to his primarily sinker/changeup combination, the 29-year-old Rodriguez has a terrific chase rate, which ranks 96th percentile in the game. However, his overall numbers are less sharp: 31 games with a 5.79 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 30 K’s. and 12 walks in 27.1 innings of work (9.9 K/9 & 4.0 BB/9).
Back to the star of the show though, this move doesn’t exactly bring the Yankees anything they don’t already have to some extent (though Gallo is a lefty). Gallo has tremendous raw power and is best suited for a corner. He doesn’t provide the contact or speed skills many fans may clamor for.
But Gallo unquestionably makes the Yankees better. He may not man an up-the-middle position all that often, but he’s consistently rated as a high-level defender while holding down right or left field. His combination of quality defense and slugging has allowed him to run an rWAR total in excess of 4.0 this year, a pace which would earn him down-ballot MVP votes if maintained through season’s end.
Gallo alone may not save the Yankees season. He does move the ball in the right direction. The Yankees have an improved lineup, now and in 2022, as Gallo will work through his final year of arbitration next season. This team will not sell, and will continue to push for championship number 28.
We’ll keep you updated as the full details of the move emerge. What do you think of the acquisition of Gallo and King? Let us know in the comments below.
Update (8:45 pm EST): The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler reports that at least five prospects will head the Rangers’ way: infielders Trevor Hauver and Ezequiel Duran, outfielder Everson Pereira, and pitchers Glenn Otto and Randy Vasquez. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported part of this group as well, plus infielder Josh Smith as a sixth (Pereira and Vasquez were unnamed in his version). That’s a pretty deep haul for Texas, but one that doesn’t include any of the Yankees’ premier prospects, though Smith and Duran are well-regarded.
In the Midseason 30 that goes up later in the week, I had Smith and Duran both in the Top 10. Everybody in the deal except Vasquez (who's gotten good reviews) was going to be in that 30. https://t.co/265xmAEJV3— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) July 29, 2021
Update (11:15 pm EST): As previously noted, Curry reported the updated version of the deal. Now, it’s Gallo and Rodriguez (rather than King) going to New York without involving the prospects Pereira and Vasquez. It seems like this is almost at the finish line.
The Joey Gallo trade is inching forward. The Yankees would get Gallo and LHR Joely Rodriguez from Texas for 4 minor leaguers: RHP Glenn Otto, 2B Ezekiel Duran, SS Josh Smith and 2B/OF Trevor Hauver. Neither team has announced it officially yet.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 29, 2021
Final Update: 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.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 29, 2021