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 Philadelphia Phillies:
Like each of our other two teams we've evaluated, the Yankees have been good trade partners with the Philadelphia Phillies 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 trading away Brad Miller, the second a small move trading away David Hale, and the most recent a move to make space on the 40-Man roster by trading away Donny Sands and Nick Nelson.
Currently, the Philadelphia Phillies sit at a 43-38 record and while they are 7.0 games back in the NL East, they are currently holding onto one of the final 2 Wild Card spots (they are essentially tied with the St. Louis Cardinals). They have a good-to-great shot at making the playoffs, being listed with an 62% chance according to FiveThirthyEight. Of all the teams that could use outfield help, the Phillies might be the least needy on offense, but they desperately need some defensive help.
For the Philadelphia Phillies, I have them ranked 3rd most needy with outfield help. They are in a similar spot to the Miami Marlins again as they have a league-wide bottom-10 outfield offense and defense that has produced (obviously) a bottom-10 outfield by fWAR. Comparing their average outfielder this year to Joey Gallo, they are better on offense (-3.0 to -4.3), slightly better with fWAR (0.5 to -0.2), and about the same- but worse- on defense (-4.7 to -4.3).
Their starting left fielder, Kyle Schwarber (who should be their DH) has hit to a .219/.336/.517 (.853 OPS/138 OPS+) extended triple-slash.
Their starting center fielder, Odubel Herrera, has hit to a .242/.285/.404 (.689 OPS/93 OPS+).
And, their starting right fielder, Nick Castellanos, has hit to a .251/.301/.386 (.686 OPS/93 OPS+).
For comparison, Joey Gallo has hit to a .165/.277/.325 (.602 OPS/74 OPS+). He'd be a downgrade offensively, but he would help to bring the Phillies defense back by allowing them to move Schwarber- a butcher in the field- back to a full-time DH role. (Remember: Schwarber is only playing the field because Bryce Harper was dealing with and is now out for a few months after getting wrist surgery.) Add in a hope that the Phillies could get a 2021 version of Gallo, and considering last years stats, he would have easily been the best outfielder on the Padres.
Joey Gallo's trade worth is approximately +3.6 MTV (million dollar trade value). The two closest players in the Phillies system to that worth are their 10th overall prospect, a left handed, injury prone 24-year old pitcher named Erik Miller (+3.7 MTV) and current MLB long-reliever, who has a 4.88 ERA in 8 games/24.1 innings, Bailey Falter (+3.5 MTV). Neither of these two guys interest me much, if at all.
Instead, I'd love to see if the Phillies would be interested in dealing away Mickey Moniak. He's worth just a bit more than Gallo (+4.0 MTV), though in his limited MLB experience- just 44 total games between 2020-2022 so far- he has a combined 10 OPS+, including a -3 OPS+ this year in 15 games. Now, those stats aren't entirely fair to Moniak- who was the 1st Overall pick in the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft for a reason- though, it also isn't completely without precedent. After being a consensus Top-100 prospect through the end of 2017, he made just one list in 2018 (being ranked 88th by MLB Pipeline) and was completely off lists by 2019. Over 6 seasons in the minor leagues from 2016-2022, he's combined to a .256/.305/.410/.715 quadruple slash. Just this season alone, Moniak has played at 4 different levels (MLB, Triple-A, Double-A, and Class-A), though he was both recovering from a hand injury he suffered in Spring Training and has combined for a .346/.382/.630/1.012 quadruple slash across all levels of the minors.
Is Mickey Moniak good? The history is complicated. He should have the tools, and looks to be putting it together now, but it has been a long road to get here and it hasn't yet shown at the MLB level in limited time. Personally, he feels like the exact type of player who would get moved for Joey Gallo. Two players who are just "stuck" in an odd limbo between their being great and downright unplayable. Gallo- who won a 2021 Gold Glove- should be able to help drastically fix the Phillies defensive problems, and Moniak would give the Yankees a prospect who is close to the majors but is very much a lottery player right now. (And, hey. How could the Yankees say no to bringing in an outfielder named "Mickey"?)
Here is some tape of Mickey Moniak from Spring Training this year:
Check back tomorrow for team #2 that could be a spot for Joey Gallo!