Texas Rangers Reportedly Discussing Trades for Joey Gallo
By Kenneth Nash
The Texas Rangers could become the biggest sellers at the MLB Trade Deadline as they reportedly are discussing trades involving star, Joey Gallo.
Lance Lynn has been the dominant name swirling in MLB Trade Deadline talk regarding the Texas Rangers but per Jeff Passan of ESPN, the club is involved in discussions around star player Joey Gallo as well. Passan notes a GM saying that the Rangers are in control of the deadline with two of the most valuable additions potentially available.
Moving Gallo would signal that the Rangers are committed to a full scale rebuild of their franchise moving forward. Gallo has long been considered the center piece of the future for the Texas Rangers but the supporting cast has never fully developed around him and now, he’s approaching a point where Texas has to decide what to do with him moving forward.
Following this season, Gallo will have two more years of team control before he can hit free agency for the first time. Generally, this offseason would really start the window in which clubs decided to move players like Gallo or extend them for the long-term. However, considering Gallo is represented by Scott Boras, an extension is a much more difficult proposition to accomplish (see Kris Bryant and the Cubs).
Gallo’s production has been up and down with the Rangers but there’s still a belief within the organization and around the league that he’s got superstar potential. An elite power bat at the plate that seems a virtual guarantee to hit 40-plus home runs every season, Gallo couples an intimidating offensive potential with above-average defense in the outfield.
Assuming Gallo is a right fielder for the long-term, his arm and athleticism profile him as a potential elite player at the position. His offensive ceiling will always be an area of question with concerns that he could be a high-power, low-consistency hitter. But Texas is willing to bank on what we saw from Joey in 2019 when he hit .253 in 70 games with a .986 OPS. He had 22 home runs before he went down with a broken hamate bone and injuries kept him out the rest of the season. Based on production though, at the time of his injury he seemed a legitimate candidate for the AL MVP race.
Gallo had two straight years of 2.7 fWAR in 2017 and 2018 pushing that up to 3.3 fWAR in just 70 games last season. If you take his production last year and expand it out over a 150 game season, Gallo would have put up 7.0-plus fWAR last year, a mark only seven players in the league hit.
So far this season, Gallo’s production has taken a hit but there’s reason to believe that he’s partially struggling because the Rangers’ lineup as a whole is poor. Gallo shoulders almost the entire offensive burden for Texas, something the 26-year old has yet to have to do in his big league career.
Any trade of Gallo would be complicated to work out. The Rangers no doubt would be asking for a return package based off of much of what we saw Gallo do in 2019 pre-injury. Even in a down 2020, he still carries positive value to a club and Texas isn’t likely to drop their asking price because of struggles. He’s a player with multiple years of control and star potential. The Rangers will expect to be compensated like he’s just that. It’s possible Gallo gets moved but if he doesn’t these rumors are likely to only increase come this offseason.