The New York Yankees are coming off an incredible 9th inning comeback win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night, resulting in their 52nd win of the season.
However, with the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Yankees have a few moves they can make to improve the roster. Right off the bat, outfielder Joey Gallo must be replaced. Even Aaron Hicks is turning things around, launching a clutch three-run blast to draw the Yankees and Astros even in the bottom of the 9th. This month, Hicks is hitting .300 with a 39% on-base rate, two homers, and 11 RBIs.
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Joey Gallo is a liability in the batter’s box:
On the other hand, Gallo has been a liability in June, batting .170 with a 30% on-base rate and four homers over 53 at-bats. On the season, Gallo has the worst batting average of his entire career at .176. He’s also striking out 39.2%, an astronomical number that not even the Yankees can justify. He’s getting on base at below 29% and hasn’t been an elite defender by any means.
There’s plenty of reason to believe that general manager Brian Cashman will look to move Gallo at the deadline, and there will be a team that sees remaining value for the rest of the 2022 season. Gallo is posting a 49% hard-hit rate and 18.8% barrel rate, indicating he’s making good contact. His exit velocity is down to 88.6 mph, down nearly 3 mph compared to last season. A change in batting stance could be a leading factor for his change in metrics, but he’s struggling considerably to make contact with most pitches.
Against fastballs, Gallo’s hitting .213 with a 37.2% WHIFF rate. Against breaking balls, he’s hitting .111 with a 47.5% WHIFF rate, numbers that shouldn’t ever touch a baseball diamond unless he’s launching homers at an inconceivable pace.
Gallo has only recorded nine homers on the season. Aaron Judge has triple that amount, and both are known to be quality sluggers.
The question is, what can the Yankees get for Gallo, and would they have to package a few prospects together in a bigger deal to justify a legitimate trade?
Considering a team would be renting Gallo for the rest of the 2022 season before he hits free agency, he may only fit a specific mold. A team that is making a playoff push and needs a lefty power hitter in the lineup could make sense.
Since Joey is earning $10.27 million this season, the Yankees would have to pay more than half his salary if they trade him at the deadline. For a club with plenty of salary space to spare before hitting the next luxury tax threshold, he may provide solid value. The Yankees would also have to find a trade partner that has a piece they are keen on acquiring, notably another outfielder or bullpen arm.
Gallo has another month to rejuvenate his season before the Yankees have to make a difficult choice. However, given his lack of production and insane strikeout rate, it would take an unbelievable July to turn things around.