After the extra wait and some uncomfortable moments, the Yankees officially acquired slugger Joey Gallo and reliever Joely Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers for four mid-tier prospects in Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver, Glen Otto, and Josh Smith — the team announced Thursday.
Shortly before the official announcement, Yankees manager Aaron Boone all but confirmed the move, admitting that he “did speak with [Gallo] and welcomed him to the team.”
“[We] just let him know how excited we are to have him,” Boone continued.
Gallo is the obvious centerpiece of the deal, which provides even more of a punch to a Yankees lineup that is supposed to be one of the most fearsome units in all of Major League Baseball. That hasn’t been the case, though, this season, as New York ranks 25th in runs per game and 13th in home runs.
Nothing like throwing more power at the problem as Gallo continues to show that he is one of the top power hitters in the game when healthy. Through 95 games, he has 25 home runs with 55 RBI as he continues to exhibit a 162-game pace of 44 round-trippers per 162 games dating back to the start of the 2017 season.
The big lefty is expected to feast off the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, but he is also exhibiting a slight improvement in his plate discipline with a league-leading 74 walks. However, he still has struck out 125 times in 95 games, which ranks third-most in the majors.
It’s a clear statement from the Yankees that they won’t partake in the business of manufacturing runs — which seemed to be a desperate plan while the offense continued to sputter. Their inefficiency is the main reason why the Yankees were 8.5 games out of first place in the AL East entering Thursday afternoon’s action.
Coming with Gallo, Rodriguez has suffered a sizable setback from a promising 2020 season that saw him post a 2.13 ERA over 12 outings. In 27.1 innings of work this year, the southpaw has a 5.93 ERA, but could fill the void left by the team trading Justin Wilson to the Cincinnati Reds earlier this week.
The pricetag for Gallo’s bat wasn’t all that dramatic for the Yankees, who did not have to part with any of their very best prospects. Texas seemed more interested in quantity over quality, as Smith and Duran were the highest-preseason-rated Yankees prospects of the haul at Nos. 14 and 15, per MLB Pipeline.
However, indications are that they are ranked even better now, with The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reporting that the Rangers are hoping they just picked up “three everyday bats (Duran, Smith, Hauver) and a potential fourth starter (Otto).”