Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers is a prime candidate to be moved before the MLB trade deadline. His team is in last place in the American League West, he flat-out rakes and has extensive experience starting at five positions (all three outfield positions and both corner infield positions).
Offensively, the 27-year-old is a sight to behold. This season alone, he has totaled 24 home runs, 52 RBIs, a league-high 72 walks and owns a .910 OPS and 150 OPS+. Furthermore, Gallo is in the top five percent of MLB in maximum exit velocity (115.1 mph) and barrel percentage (19.1 percent) per Statcast. He also sports a seven DRS in right field.
Joey Gallo can make a difference for a contender. Who else can he make a difference for? The Texas Rangers. Here’s why president Jon Daniels must keep the slugger in Texas.
Joey Gallo is part of a capable Texas Rangers’ offense
At face value, the Rangers have an anemic offense that leaves much to be desired. When putting the magnifying glass closer to the subject at hand, they have an offensive attack capable of being a respectable force past 2021.
Rookie center fielder Adolis Garcia has been one of the bright spots in another dry season for the Texas faithful. He has totaled 22 home runs, owns an .817 OPS and cracked the AL All-Star Game roster. Outfielder/designated hitter Willie Calhoun has considerable pop and is two seasons removed from blasting an efficient 21 home runs to the tune of an .848 OPS in 83 games.
Despite an up-and-down year, Isiah Kiner-Falefa has showcased an ability to be a steady, contact hitter. Nate Lowe has been a plausible power threat in his first season as a full-time starter. This is a group with the potential to extend its reach.
Texas Rangers won’t get optimum trade value for Joey Gallo
If they’re truly open to moving him, the Rangers will get reasonable trade offers for Joey Gallo. He’d be the top power hitter available, and he brings defensive versatility to the table, which are two sought-after assets in the modern-day game. That said, is there any trade offer that’s going to enhance the Rangers’ future and farm system?
Gallo is entering the prime of his MLB career, as he’s still only 27 years old. At the same time, he’s only under team control through 2022, meaning a team is essentially acquiring him for two potential playoff runs and eight months of regular season play. No team is going to gut their farm system for a player under contract for that long, especially one with some noticeable flaws on his resume, among them injuries and an alarming career strikeout rate. For his career, Gallo owns a 3.83-7.84 hit-to-strikeout ratio.
Gallo can only get better and more consistent at the plate. Imagine if the Rangers cash in on Gallo for a few nice but not franchise-changing prospects and the slugger begins to get on base and drive in more runs on a contender. In reality, hey would’ve moved on from a player they could’ve built around.
Texas Rangers need veteran leaders to turn the corner
No team makes the playoffs without veteran leadership. Every prolonged rebuild has a group of veterans present when the team finally makes the playoffs. Joey Gallo would be that player for the Rangers.
His raw power, which results in him emptying the basepaths, would be a primary run creator for the Rangers when players who would presumably get on base at a high level are hitting in front of him. Yes, he’s just one player, but how can one expect with the utmost confidence that the Rangers will recreate Joey Gallo, if you will, in the minor leagues? This is a team that has struggled mightily to develop talent at the big-league level, specifically position players.
Joey Gallo could be what Jose Abreu is for the Chicago White Sox and Ryan Zimmerman is for the Washington Nationals. That being someone who was present for both the dark times and when the team turned a corner. There’s intrinsic value in sticking with homegrown sluggers.
Texas Rangers can afford to extend Joey Gallo
The Texas Rangers are on the hook for $6 million in payroll for the 2023 MLB season per Spotrac. In short: they can afford to extend Joey Gallo.
A free agent after 2022, the Rangers have plenty of time to extend Gallo. They could do it in the offseason or wait to see how he plays over the next year and a half. One way or another, they can afford to pay him and should do as such. He’s the identity of this team and someone they can build with for the long haul.
Any contender that Joey Gallo could be traded to this month would utilize him as a complementary piece to a preexisting core. With the Rangers, he is the core and some pieces are beginning to fall into place around him.