Joey Gallo Traded to Yankees: How the Deal with Texas Impacts New York’s Projections
Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Joey Gallo.
Texas Rangers outfielder and first baseman Joey Gallo has been traded to the New York Yankees, The Athletic’s Levi Weaver reported on Wednesday.
Gallo is having a career year and is tied for 11th in MLB in Wins Above Replacement with 4.1, according to ESPN.
The 27-year-old is hitting .223/.379/.490 with 25 homers and an MLB-leading 74 walks.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound lefty has put up close-to-career-high numbers in on-base percentage and OPS+ thus far this season.
He was named to his second All-Star team a few weeks ago and also participated in the Home Run Derby.
Gallo has one more year of team control remaining before he’s set to become a free agent after the 2022 season.
With the acquisition, the Yankees will undoubtedly bolster their lineup, which has been sputtering in the bottom of the pack in runs scored and batting average all season.
Despite coming into the season as clear -223 favorites to win the AL East, the Yankees have drastically underperformed. They are currently 8.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the division and three games back from the Oakland A’s for the second wild card spot.
New York has a 41.7% chance to make the playoffs and a 4.2% chance to win the division, according to FanGraphs.
Their odds to win the AL East are similarly lengthy, with lines at 11-1 at DraftKings, 15-1 at PointsBet, 14-1 at BetMGM and 13-1 at FanDuel.
The Action Network will update this story if their various odds change as a result of this trade.
DraftKings slates the Yankees’ odds to make the playoffs at +110 yes, -130 no.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have virtually no path to the postseason. They entered play Wednesday with a 36-65 record and a 0.0% chance to make the playoffs or win the division, according to FanGraphs.
For reference, their odds to win their division at DraftKings is 1000/1.
Sean Zerillo’s Analysis
Gallo is a massive acquisition for the Yankees, and his presence in the Bronx upgrades New York’s “True Talent” level by 2.2 wins to that of a 90.5 win team in my projections — up from 88.3 wins before the trade.
Before the trade, I projected the Yankees’ for 86.3 wins at the end of the season. The Gallo addition upgrades that projection by 0.9 wins to 87.2.
However, that still falls short of my prorated projection for the Athletics (88.5), who I have slated to lock up the final playoff spot in the American League. And they have plenty of ground to make up on Tampa Bay (projected 93.8) and Boston (93.4) in both the AL East and wild card hunt.
One area of potential frustration: the Yankees already strike out a ton (24.4%, 21st in MLB), and Gallo (32.2%) has the second-highest strikeout rate in the majors.
He’ll provide big-time power to the middle of their lineup, alongside high-strikeout sluggers in Aaron Judge (24.9%) and Giancarlo Stanton (29.2%), who rank first and second in baseball in both average and maximum exit velocity.
Gallo has toned down his swing to cut down on his strikeout rate, but I couldn’t imagine a better landing spot in terms of park effects. It’s a potential fantasy team in the making, with Gallo’s left-handed swing in Yankee Stadium complimenting a righty-heavy Yankee lineup, and they’ll have him under contract for one additional season.
Gallo is also a tremendously underrated defender, ranking as the best defensive right fielder in baseball (+13 and +14 in Defensive Runs Saved) over the past two seasons. And he can play scratch defense in center field, too.