Yankees News: Cashman has big plans for Joey Gallo, one underrated shortstop free agent

Alexander Wilson
joey gallo, yankees

If the New York Yankees didn’t make a single move this off-season, they still have enough talent on the roster to be a competitive team. Unfortunately, some of their critical role players this past year struggled offensively, putting too much weight on the shoulders of the bullpen and starting rotation.

One player who vastly underperformed was Joey Gallo, who spent 58 games with the Yankees after being traded at the deadline from the Texas Rangers. The two-time All-Star posted a putrid .160 batting average, recording 13 homers and 22 RBIs. Offensively, he was extremely inconsistent and didn’t offer much as a contact option.

General manager Brian Cashman indicated that Gallo was capable of playing at a much higher level, and they are expecting that version of him in 2022.

“He didn’t play as well as he’s capable of playing,’’ Cashman said. “It’s not easy transferring from one city to another. It’s a new experience for him. I believe he’s very talented. Hopefully the two- or three-month experience with us benefits him as he enters his free-agency walk year.”

Cashman was vague about any concern regarding Gallo, but he is convinced we will see an elevated version of the lefty slugger moving forward after he settles into New York.

“I don’t want to say there’s a concern. I think you’re gonna see a much better version of him, but that’s not saying much. He hit .190 with us,” Cashman said of Gallo, who actually hit just .160 in 58 games. “He struggled by his admission … and fact. But he’s a threat every time up at the plate and I would bet we’ll see a much improved version of him next year for us. I feel very confident in saying that because he’s that talented. I expect him to be there, if that’s what you’re asking.”

Gallo is a superb defensive player, but his offense has been streaky at times, despite earning an All-Star appearance and Gold Glove award this past season. He recorded a career-high 111 walks and 213 strikeouts, an inconceivable number that plagued the Yankees’ batting order after the acquisition.

One underrated shortstop option for the Yankees:

Names like Corey Seager and Carlos Correa are the talk of the town at the moment, but one underrated shortstop option could be available for the Yankees and at a much cheaper price point. Marcus Semien, who is capable of playing shortstop, second base, and third base, would fit the stopgap usage the Bombers are looking to inject as they wait for several young prospects to climb the farm system.

Semien is 31-years-old, coming off an elite season where he hit .265 with 45 homers and 102 RBIs. He ranked third in MVP voting, made the All-Star team, and won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. One of the more exciting attributes that Semien acquires is his clean bill of health, playing 162 games apiece in two of the last three seasons, one of which was the abbreviated 2020 campaign due to Covid.

Semien would offer a monster bat in the middle of the lineup but also the versatility to move infield positions when Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza are ready to take the next step.