The 5 Trades for Joey Gallo: White Sox
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 Chicago White Sox:
The Yankees and the White Sox, while having a trading history going back to 1906, have a pretty short trade history. Since the end of the 2017 season, the two teams have come together to make just one trade. (Though, they did make a pretty major trade during 2017 with Rutherford/Clarkin/Polo/Clippard for Robertson/Kahnle/Frazier.) The last trade the two sides made was a trade sending Caleb Frare to Chicago for international bonus pool money.
Of of the writing of this post, the Chicago White Sox sit at a 39-42 record, they are just 6.0 games back in the AL Central and they are currently 4.5 games back for the final AL Wild Card spot. They have a moderate shot at making the playoffs, being listed with an 48% chance according to FiveThirthyEight.
For the Chicago White Sox, I have them ranked as the most needy team (with the Atlanta Braves) with outfield help. They actually have the best outfield offense of the teams we've looked at this week (ranked 12th worst), though they have the worst outfield defense and a combined bottom-5 outfield by fWAR. Comparing their average outfielder this year to Joey Gallo, they are obviously better on offense (-2.8 to -4.3), slightly better with fWAR (0.3 to -0.2), and much worse on defense (-8.2 to -4.3).
Their starting left fielder, AJ Pollock, has hit to a .239/.278/.354 (.632 OPS/79 OPS+) extended triple-slash.
Their starting center fielder, Luis Robert, has hit to a .289/.320/.426 (.746 OPS/111 OPS+).
And, their starting right fielder, Adam Engel, has hit to a .238/.300/.347 (.647 OPS/84 OPS+).
For comparison, Joey Gallo has hit to a .165/.277/.325 (.602 OPS/74 OPS+). He'd be nearly the same as an offensive player to Pollock and Engel, and though Engel has been a serviceable defender, Gallo would provide a big upgrade over Pollock.
Joey Gallo's trade worth is approximately +3.6 MTV (million dollar trade value). The closest player in the Chicago White Sox system is starter Kendall Graveman (+3.6 MTV), but he would be off the trading block if they're thinking of competing. The next closest player then is Sean Burke (+4.1 MTV), their #12 prospect who is a right-handed pitcher currently pitching in Double-A. He was a third round draft pick in 2021 after pitching for Maryland. He is athletic for being a tall guy (6'6")- which may have been helped by his status as a multi-sport athlete- but he has had troubles locating the zone during his college (4.9 BB/9) and professional career. He looks to be getting it under control (~3.0 BB/9), but it is an area he needs work.
Now, the Chicago White Sox are definitely falling from the playoff picture. The possibility they're currently looking to buy seems to be fading. However, it seems as though they could comfortably find some easy upgrades to help "right the ship". I can't imagine they're willing to give up in a division (the AL Central) that has good competition and should still be obtainable to take over.
Unfortunately, there is no available tape on YouTube showing Burke's stuff, so here is a podcast he recently did talking about his Tommy John surgery, playing in college, getting drafted, and more:
Monday we looked at the Miami Marlins (see here), Tuesday we looked at the San Diego Padres (see here), Wednesday we looked at the Philadelphia Phillies (see here), and Thursday we looked at the Atlanta Braves (see here).
Thank you for reading this week!