The 5 Trades for Joey Gallo: Miami
It's long been time to cut our loses from the Joey Gallo experience and give Miguel Andujar a real shot. But, where could Gallo be traded?
What is Joey Gallo Worth (A Preview):
Joey Gallo has not been a productive player while he has been with the New York Yankees. In 124 games since being traded to New York during the 2021 trade deadline, he has hit to a .162/.290/.364 (.654 OPS/84 OPS+) extended triple-slash while hitting just 33 extra-base hits (including 22 home runs), walking 67 times, and striking out 177 times. This is a far step below the .211/.336/.497 (.833 OPS/117 OPS+) hitter that he was for the Texas Rangers from 2015 to the 2021 deadline.
An important note is that there is potential here. For a quick confidence boost for any team willing to take him on, he had a good-to-great batting history in Texas. He's not an "old guy" as he's just 28 and doesn't turn 29 until November. The shift is going to be banned for 2022- which should help his batting going forward- and any team that trades for him now would get first dibs at negotiating a new contract before he is set to become a free agent. And, on that same token, it gives any team interested in Gallo a chance to see what he could do for them in their uniform and around their media. (I really think there is another missed factor here that Gallo is truly uncomfortable in New York, which is affecting his ability to produce.)
Now, I don't need to point out the many negatives that also come with Joey Gallo. We are all more than familiar with those things. So the question is who would be interested?
I put together a pretty simple spreadsheet looking at team outfield values from FanGraphs and have put that together, here on Google Slides. Let me explain:
My chart (link above) is not overly complicated, which makes it easy for me to point out where we need to look and makes it easy to explain. So, let's get into it:
I only picked 18 teams to analyze. These teams are either holding onto a divisional lead, a wild card spot, or are within 5 games of a wildcard spot. With how much season is left, I think all of these teams can imagine their getting into the postseason.
Using this sample, I sorted them by 3 different team outfield values from Fangraphs: fWAR, Offense, and Defense. These rankings are based off where they rank across the entire league, with a lower score indicating a worse/lower value. I then ranked teams off their cumulative score (higher is better) relative to the grouping of 18 and assigned them list values (teams in red have the most need).
I then also collected each teams outfield values for offense, defense, and fWAR and divided each value by 3- as to try to see what the average outfield starter is producing for each team. I then compared these values to what Joey Gallo has done in 2022, where stats in green are better, stats in white are about equal, and stats in red are worse.
I have also used the approximate trade value calculations from BaseballTradeValues.com, which is the tool I used to make my trades.
So, with all that covered, let's talk about where the Yankees could reasonably send Joey Gallo.
The Miami Marlins
The Yankees have been good trade partners with the Miami Marlins in recent years. Since the end of the 2017 season, the two teams have come together to make 3 different trades: the first a move for Michael King (for Caleb Smith), the second for Giancarlo Stanton, and the most recent a small move sending Stephen Tarpley to Miami.
Currently, the Miami Marlins sit at a 37-40 record and while they are 11 games back in the NL East, they are just 5 games back in the Wild Card. They are on the outside looking in with an 8% chance to make the playoffs this year according to FiveThirthyEight (though they are the lowest ranked team that has odds better than <1%). A smaller move now could be the exact type of thing they pursue, giving them an early boost to the players that ownership believes they can compete, though also providing time to cut ties and trade him away again if things don't improve before the end of July/early August.
For the Miami Marlins, I have them ranked 4th most needy with outfield help as they have a league-wide bottom-10 outfield offense that has produced to a bottom-10 fWAR with a bottom-15 defense. Comparing their average outfielder this year to Joey Gallo, they are better on defense (-3.2 to -4.4), slightly better with fWAR (0.6 to -0.2), and about the same on offense (-3.9 to -4.3). It's worse when we take a serious look.
Their starting left fielder, Jorge Soler (who is currently on the 10-Day IL) had been hitting to a .217/.306/.421 (.727 OPS/103 OPS+) extended triple-slash.
Their starting center fielder, Jesus Sanchez, has hit to a .214/.264/.419 (.683 OPS/89 OPS+).
And, their starting right fielder, Avisail Garcia, has hit to a .229/.265/.331 (.596 OPS/67 OPS+).
For comparison, Joey Gallo has hit to a .165/.277/.325 (.602 OPS/74 OPS+). He'd be an instant upgrade over Garcia and- considering last years stats- would have easily been the best outfielder on the Marlins.
It's not a "match made in heaven", but it would be a move that wouldn't be uncommon. A buy-low pre-trade deadline piece, on a team on the border between competing and not, with hopes for a resurgence to help the team going forward, and if not an option to dish to another needy outfield team.
Joey Gallo's trade worth is approximately +3.6 MTV (million dollar trade value). The closest player in the Marlins system to that worth is their 17th overall prospect, a switch-hitting, defense/speed-first, shortstop named Nasim Nunez (+3.3 MTV). Nunez was a 2nd round draft pick in 2019 and is currently playing with the Beloit Sky Carp (Class-A Advanced), he has all the makings to be a future gold glover, though he lacks any power (he has 1 home run in 3 professional seasons so far).
This is the type of guy I would go for. Trading Gallo for Nunez would clear a roster and 40-man spot as they take a chance on a player in the lower minors who lacks physicality (Nunez stands at 5'9" and about 160 pounds), but who has the potential as a top-tier defender with good speed. It's a low-budget move that wouldn't impress anybody, but a proper baseball move when considering the situations both teams are in. Essentially, we're looking at a trade for a shot at a future better defensive version of Tyler Wade (who, by the way, just got DFA'ed by the Los Angeles Angels) to the Yankees for a potentially great outfielder who has been a shell of his former self since last August.
Here is some tape of Nasim Nunez from a game last week where he reached base 6 times:
Check back tomorrow for team #2 that could be a spot for Joey Gallo!