Joey Gallo’s time in the Bronx is widely expected to be up by Tuesday’s trade deadline, and the Yankees have been exploring trade possibilities for the struggling outfielder. The Brewers, Padres, and Rays are among the clubs who have shown interest in the former All-Star, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes.
San Diego discussed a Gallo deal during Spring Training, and has been linked to the slugger’s market multiple times in the past, dating back to Gallo’s time with the Rangers. The Rays and Brewers also had interest in Gallo at last year’s deadline, and seem to be again revisiting a trade 12 months later.
Of course, quite a lot has happened to Gallo’s trade value in the past year, none of it good. After posting only a .707 OPS in 228 plate appearances as a Yankees in 2021, Gallo’s slump has only deepened this season. Gallo has hit only .159/.282/.339 with 12 homers over 273 PA, with a wRC+ of 81 (the league average is 100) and strikeout and whiff rates that rank near the bottom of the league.
On the flip side, Gallo is still posting outstanding hard-contact numbers and his 14.7% walk rate is one of the best of any player in baseball. A .217 BABIP only deepens the frustration, yet Gallo is so rarely making contact in the first place that his scuffles can’t be chalked up to just bad batted-ball luck. This lack of production in the pinstripes is “something I’m gonna have to really 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 tough pill to swallow.”
The Yankees’ acquisition of Andrew Benintendi has all but confirmed that Gallo will be dealt, though what New York can expect back in return is an open question. The 28-year-old outfielder is a free agent after the season and is owed roughly $3.4MM for the remainder of the year, making it quite possible that the Yankees will have to eat most or all of that money unless another unwanted contract is swapped in return. While interested teams surely view Gallo as a change-of-scenery candidate, the Yankees don’t have much leverage in trying to market him as such, since it is so widely known that the club wishes to part ways with the outfielder.
In Tampa Bay’s case, the Yankees are surely wary of the idea of Gallo reviving himself on an AL East rival, and it is fair to wonder if New York would want more in order to move Gallo within the division. The Rays may have the more glaring need for outfield help given that Manuel Margot, Harold Ramirez, and Kevin Kiermaier are all injured, with Kiermaier being out for the season in the wake of hip surgery.
However, the Rays already made a left-handed hitting outfield upgrade yesterday, landing David Peralta in a trade with the Diamondbacks. It is possible this move could take the Rays out of the Gallo market, though the club is still looking for more outfield depth, as Nightengale also reports that Tampa is interested in former Ray and current Red Tommy Pham.
Christian Yelich, Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroe, and Tyrone Taylor have comprised Milwaukee’s outfield mix for much of the season, with McCutchen also getting the majority of DH time. Yelich is the only left-handed bat of the quartet, and Gallo could become a platoon partner with Taylor in center field. 2019 was the only season Gallo played a sizeable amount of center field, but he acquitted himself quite well defensively up the middle, even if right field is his ideal position — Gallo has won the last two American League right field Gold Gloves.