The 5 Trades for Joey Gallo: San Diego
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 San Diego Padres:
Like yesterday with the Miami Marlins, the Yankees have been good trade partners with the San Diego Padres 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 Chase Headley with Bryan Mitchell (for Jabari Blash), the second a small move for Greg Allen, and the most recent a small move sending Luke Voit to Miami.
Currently, the San Diego Padres sit at a 47-35 record and while they are 4.5 games back in the NL East, they have a 3 game lead in the Wild Card. They have a great shot at making the playoffs, being listed with an 85% chance according to FiveThirthyEight. While it wouldn't be the most exciting move for them to make, the outfield situation in San Diego is bleak right now.
For the San Diego Padres, I have them ranked 5th 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 that has produced to a bottom-10 fWAR, though they have a near- Top-10 defense. Comparing their average outfielder this year to Joey Gallo, they are better on defense (-1.7 to -4.4), slightly better with fWAR (0.7 to -0.2), and about the same on offense (-4.0 to -4.3). It's worse when we take a serious look.
Their starting left fielder, Jurickson Profar has hit to a .243/.345/.401 (.746 OPS/117 OPS+) extended triple-slash.
Their starting center fielder, Trent Grisham, has hit to a .188/.285/.335 (.620 OPS/80 OPS+).
And, their starting right fielder, Wil Myers (who is on the 10-Day IL), has been hitting to a .234/.276/.306 (.583 OPS/70 OPS+).
For comparison, Joey Gallo has hit to a .165/.277/.325 (.602 OPS/74 OPS+). He'd be an instant upgrade over Myers and- considering last years stats- would have easily been the best outfielder on the Padres.
Now, the Padres could see Joey Gallo as a worthwhile piece to take a shot on. Like I said yesterday (and will repeat all week), he's a buy-low pre-trade deadline piece. If New York is really his problem, it gives the team a chance to see if that's so. If it is, they get an above-average hitter and defender to work with going into the playoffs. If it isn't, then they get to see that through before the trade deadline occurs and will have a chance to go after someone else without having originally broken the bank.
Joey Gallo's trade worth is approximately +3.6 MTV (million dollar trade value). The closest player in the Padres system to that worth is their 10th overall prospect, a left hand hitting, 17-year old who signed in 2021 out of Venezuela named Samuel Zavala (+3.4 MTV). He has played just 2 games this year- both at the Foreign Rookie Level- and he has plenty of time to develop into his 6'1" frame. According to reports, he's a little too aggressive at the plate- which is to be expected with a teenager in the early part of his career- and while he was signed as a center fielder it is expected that he'll end up in a corner role as he matures and fills out.
Personally, I'm not against Zavala, but instead I'd much rather look into a guy like, well, Eguy Rosario. While he is the Padres #5 prospect his value is just +2.4 MTV which makes me hopeful the Yankees could swing a trade for him. He's a right hand hitting utility infielder at the Triple-A level who has started to show some pop in recent years with 13 HR's this year, 12 last year. (Though, this is in the super offensive-friendly Pacific Coast League.) And while he's a defender first with good speed and a decent bat, I'm a fan of his because getting him would allow the Yankees to move on from Oswald Peraza in a move for a bigger piece to the team while not losing depth in Triple-A.
Here is some tape of Eguy Rosario from his Triple-A debut this year:
Yesterday we looked at the Miami Marlins (see here).
Check back tomorrow for team #3 that could be a spot for Joey Gallo!