When Adrian Beltre was placed on the disabled list on June 1st, there was immediate speculation as to who would be called upon to fill the All-Star’s shoes at the hot corner. As we found out shortly thereafter, Joey Gallo, the Texas Rangers’ #1 prospect and #8 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline prior to the season, would be vaulted to the majors, bypassing Triple-A Round Rock entirely. Of course the caveat was that when Beltre returned from the disabled list, Gallo would be sent back down to join the Express and continue to get his at-bats in the minors. Yet with the production that Gallo has provided, should the Rangers follow through with that plan, or attempt to formulate a new one?
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Let’s compare the two third basemen’s numbers this season for the sake of argument. Granted, Beltre is having a down year and Gallo is due to slump when pitchers get “the book” on him. Regardless, we can see that Gallo’s pace is higher that Beltre’s here:
Obviously Beltre has many more at-bats this season, but if we extrapolate Gallo’s numbers into the same number that Beltre has seen, he’d have 36.785 (let’s say 37) rbi and 14.71 (15) homers. Is this a small sample size? Yes. Yes it is. But it does beg the question of whether or not the resurgent Rangers would be better off attempting to trade Beltre to keep Gallo on the team. Both sides of the argument can be argued, and both sides would have legitimate cases. Down the road someone would be right, but in the here and now, there is no clear answer.
Here are some of the pros and cons of keeping Gallo on the team and moving Beltre.
Gallo has totaled 28 big-league at-bats. Sure he’s off to a hot start, but how does he respond to adversity? Rushing him past Triple-A could have a negative impact on his long-term development.
Adrian Beltre is a much better defender than Gallo, which may allow for some leniency in terms of his offensive numbers being down this season.
Trading Beltre now would be poor timing on the part of Jon Daniels. He’s having a down season and would just be returning from injury. That could hurt his market value just enough to make a bit of difference in the return the Texas Rangers could get for him.
Beltre is signed through next season, and the sooner they trade him, the more time he could potentially have with a new club–upping his return value.
Beltre is due $18M next season. Getting that money off the books, as well as what’s left on this year’s deal could help JD be a bit creative in terms of assembling a contender either this season or next.
With Beltre seemingly entering his decline, Gallo could represent a legitimately better option if given the chance. The arbitration clock has already started on Gallo and every day he’s in the minors is another day that he’s not contributing for the big league club.
This issue will likely be at the forefront of many discussions in the coming days and has no easy answer. Where do you stand? Stick with the plan and insert Adrian Beltre right back where he has been, sending Joey Gallo to Triple-A, or should the Texas Rangers attempt to keep Gallo up by moving Beltre?