Texas Rangers: Amid trade rumors, Joey Gallo should be part of a rebuild, not paving the way for one
By Travis Koch
Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo has now popped up in trade rumors. Why Texas should hold onto him to facilitate their rebuild.
Yet another trade rumor has popped up regarding a Texas Rangers player. This time, Joey Gallo is the center of attention. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning news reported yesterday that both the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies are interested in the 24-year-old slugger. The Rangers have admitted publicly their willingness to listen to offers on just about anyone, making this a rather serious matter.
Just rumors at the moment; however, we saw how quickly rumor can turn to reality with the Cole Hamels to Chicago Cubs trade on Thursday. It made sense to trade pending free agent and age 34 Hamels as the organization preps for a rebuild. Though, the situation with Gallo is about the complete opposite.
Should the Texas Rangers deal Gallo as they transition into rebuild mode?
This one is tough. The vast majority of the time, Gallo appears to be one of the more helpless players in all of Major League Baseball. But the sliver of time in which he doesn’t appear that way, he is one of the more dominant players in MLB. He definitely has his ups and downs. The problem is the downs happen way too often.
Joey Gallo has regressed slightly from his first full season in the big leagues; however, that is often the case. His style of play is well-known around the league and his weaknesses at the plate have been exposed time and time again. Pitchers have adjusted to Gallo much faster than Gallo has adjusted to pitchers–that is a problem in MLB.
Recent history aside, Joey Gallo remains a legitimate talent with a very high ceiling. His power is perhaps the most remarkable tool among any MLB player; plus, his arm, his glove and his speed are nothing to be overlooked. The revealing issue is his CONTACT.
Gallo is an ongoing project, but he is the Rangers’ project. Trading him would be an extreme risk. He is off to a bumpy start to his career, but even in his bumpy start, he has hit 66 home runs in 244 games and has averaged a home run every 12 at-bats. The possibility of Gallo reaching his potential is far too exciting for the Texas Rangers to make any rash moves. And the absolute last outcome the Rangers would be able to live with is watching Gallo reach his potential with another team.
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Not to mention, Gallo’s youth is perfectly in line with the organization’s two-year plan. He would be entering his age 26 season in 2020, the year in which the Rangers will move into their new stadium and the year in which the organization expects to return to competitive ranks. A slugger like Gallo opening up the stadium in the cleanup role would certainly make for a desired ticket.
Yes Joey Gallo can be a very frustrating player to watch and yes there is a chance he never even comes close to reaching his potential. With that said, what if he does reach his potential? And what are your thoughts on a 2020 core of Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor? Elvis Andrus will hopefully still be around, maybe Willie Calhoun will have emerged, and perhaps some of the organizations’ top prospects will surface by then.
Ultimately, Gallo is the kind of talent that a team should be building around. He has not earned that kind of respect as of yet, but the Texas Rangers need to give him more time to prove himself.
Frankly, the rumors a likely smoke and mirrors. The Rangers would want a major return for a long-time prized possession that remains under team control through the 2022 season. On the other end, hopeful contenders in Cleveland and Philadelphia would want a more reliable hitter to contribute to their immediate needs. Gallo is a work in progress; he is not a guy that can be trusted to pull through in the deciding game of a championship series. Maybe he will be someday, but it’s up to the Texas Rangers to see that through.