Could the Texas Rangers trading Joey Gallo to the Yankees last summer for four prospects go down as one of the best deals in Rangers history?
It might be early to bring history into the equation here, since only one of the four prospects returning to Texas in the trade has had any MLB experience to this point (Glenn Otto). But the praise continues to flow in as the team is reportedly “thrilled” with the package they received for Joey Gallo last summer.
Here’s what The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal had to say about the four prospects the Rangers landed from the Yankees last summer.
"Josh Smith:Chris Woodward “… does not rule out Smith … appearing in the majors this season. … “With what he showed here, he has raised a lot of eyebrows,” Woodward said. Smith, a left-handed hitter, does not always impress in batting practice, but “then you get in a game and he hammers balls all over the place,” Woodward said.Ezequiel Duran:Duran, meanwhile, is better defensively than Woodward had heard, demonstrating both natural ability and a high baseball IQ. He probably is best suited for third base and figures to start at Double A, a level below Smith.Glenn Otto and Trevor Hauver:The Rangers also like the other two players they acquired in the Gallo/Rodriguez trade — right-hander Glenn Otto, who made his major-league debut in the latter part of last season and had a 9.26 ERA in six starts; and infielder Trevor Hauver, a third-round pick in 2020 who shows offensive potential, but is limited defensively."
The Texas Rangers’ return in the Joey Gallo trade seems to get better by the day
It’s rare when a team believes they’ve hit on an entire prospect package, but the tone expressed in Rosenthal’s piece seems to indicate that the Texas Rangers have hit a home run with this trade.
Smith and Duran are the headliner prospects from the deal and the hope is that both players could see the big leagues sooner rather than later. This is especially true of Smith, who will start 2022 in AAA after a strong spring at Rangers camp in March. His contact skills and positional versatility will have a place in Arlington when he’s ready.
As for Duran, he tore up the Arizona Fall League in 2021 and built on that positive momentum with an invite to Rangers spring training this year. His ceiling is higher than Smith’s overall given both his defensive prowess and power with the bat, but both could factor into 2023 plans, if not 2022 ones in Smith’s case.
Glenn Otto should find himself making a handful of starts for Texas this season after doing so last year and flashing his potential, even if the numbers don’t reflect that for him. Trevor Hauver is the biggest wild-card in the trade, shaping up to be an offensive-minded utility player.
Overall, if you were to tell me the Rangers would be trading Joey Gallo to the Yankees for four players who could all become viable big leaguers, I would make that deal 10/10 times, particularly during a rebuild.
Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but with so many fans hesitant to get on board with this trade at first, this should only provide further reassurance that Texas made the right choice last summer.