MLB trade deadline: New York Yankees acquire All-Star slugger Joey Gallo from Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers have traded All-Star outfielder Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees in a…

The Texas Rangers have traded All-Star outfielder Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees in a six-player deal that sends four minor-leaguers to the Rangers. The teams announced the trade on Thursday.

Here’s the deal: 

Rangers get: 2B Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith, IF/OF Trevor Hauver, RHP Glenn Otto

Yankees get: Gallo, left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez

Gallo was originally in the Rangers lineup for Wednesday night. He was then a last-minute scratch and it was immediately reported that it was for non-medical reasons, meaning the deal may have gone down right before the game. 

Gallo, 27, is hitting .223/.379/.490 (139 OPS+) with six doubles, a triple, 25 homers, 55 RBI, 57 runs, six stolen bases and 4.1 WAR this season. Once viewed as an all-power guy by a good number of people, Gallo has made himself into an exceptional right fielder. He has nine outfield assists this season and rates out highly in most advanced metrics that consider range. He also leads the majors in walks with 74. The only real issue would be the low batting average and high strikeouts. He’s even a good baserunner and hasn’t been thrown out stealing. 

Gallo is a really nice fit for the Yankees’ lineup due to his left-handed power. Yes, they already have a bunch of huge power guys like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez, but those guys are right handed. Gallo now gets to call Yankee Stadium home with that short right-field porch. Heading into Wednesday’s action, the Yankees’ left-handed hitters had combined to hit just 22 home runs in over 700 at-bats. Meanwhile, Gallo leads all lefties in the majors in home runs since 2017. 

The Yankees entered Wednesday down nine games in the AL East, but they are within striking range of a wild card spot, sitting 2 1/2 games back of the second one. Per SportsLine, the addition of Gallo increases the Yankees’ playoff chances this season by 2.6 percent. 

Plus, as a bonus for the Yankees here, Gallo isn’t a rental. He still has one year of arbitration yet. He’s set to hit free agency after the 2022 season. 

Rodriguez, 29, is bullpen depth. In 31 appearances this season, the lefty has pitched to a 5.31 ERA and 1.61 WHIP with 30 strikeouts against 11 unintentional walks in 27 1/3 innings. 

Given that the Yankees have shown their desire to add while also coughing up prospects, don’t be surprised if there are several more moves before the trade deadline happens on Friday at 4 p.m. ET. 

On the Rangers’ side: 

  • Hauver was the Yankees’ second-round pick in 2020 out of Arizona State. He’s 22. In 66 Class A games this season, he’s hitting .288/.445/.498 with 17 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBI. 
  • Duran, 22, has played in 67 games with Class A-Advanced Hudson Valley this year. He’s hitting .290/.374/.533 with 15 doubles, six triples, 12 homers, 48 RBI, 42 runs and 12 stolen bases. 
  • Smith was the Yankees’ second rounder out of LSU in 2019. He’s now 23. In 39 games between Class A and Class A-Advanced this year, he’s hit .324/.448/.641 with 12 doubles, three triples, nine homers, 24 RBI, 17 stolen bases and 44 runs scored. 
  • Otto, 25, was the Yankees’ fifth-round pick out of Rice in 2017. In 13 outings between Double-A and Triple-A this season, he’s 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 115 strikeouts against 17 walks in 75 2/3 innings. 

In getting four prospects — two of which are far away from the majors — the Rangers are likely to miss on at least one of these guys, but getting this kind of volume back in a deal greatly increases the chances that they just got an eventual MLB impact player, if not more than one.