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Joey Gallo’s reign in Texas ends as the Rangers trade slugging fan favorite to the Big Apple

Photo: Kelly Gavin/Texas Rangers

Joey Gallo’s reign in Texas ends as the Rangers trade slugging fan favorite to the Big Apple

About twenty minutes before the first pitch of Wednesday’s Rangers/Diamondbacks game at Globe Life Field, the nagging notion that something was going to happen finally came to be. Joey Gallo is no longer a Texas Ranger. Talks of a potential deal had been bubbling over the past 12 months, but nothing happened. Then, the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees tentatively reached an agreement on Wednesday (Official as of 11:05a Thursday). Tuesday night’s events felt like something was on the horizon. Then, thoughts started late Tuesday night after the Yankees traded a few relievers to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later. The trade didn’t seem like much at the time, and honestly, most Rangers fans didn’t notice it.

The Yankees traded away RHP Luis Cessa and LHP Justin Wilson to Cincinnati. Cessa had a 2.82 ERA in 38 innings for the Yankees, a team still contending for at least a Wild Card spot. Therefore, trading him seemed strange until you realize from a business standpoint, it was brilliant. Trading those two pitchers left some money open which may have created the portal for the Yankees to trade Joey Gallo.

“There was shock,” Chris Woodward said after Wednesday’s game. “As a player, you think it sucks. it’s somebody you share your locker with, your teammate and a guy we coach and build a relationship with.”

What about the Deal Itself?

The question became how the Rangers would handle a deal? Would they settle for a big-name prospect along with eating some cash? Instead, the Rangers received a haul back in quantity (that reduced from six to four prospects), which appeared like the Rangers got the raw end of the deal. However, on a recent update of the Yankees farm system, Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith made the Yankees top ten prospects. Another side of good news, according to Levi Weaver of the Athletic and a scout he talked to, the Rangers received a great return for Joey Gallo. It’s a “time will tell” scenario which of course never looks good at the start. Here’s a breakdown according to Baseball America (it is behind a paywall).

Player Rank within NYY Farm System per Fangraphs, Rangers Rank
Ezequiel Duran 6 3
Josh Smith 8 8
Glenn Otto 20 37
Trevor Hauver 22 31

According to the report, four things stand out. First, Duran and Smith skyrocketed upward in the Yankees rankings and found themselves in the top ten. Second, Ezequiel Duran’s pitch recognition is helping in showcasing his power to thrive in the minors. Third, Josh Smith started the year hurt but is making the most of his opportunities. As of July 21st, Smith has the second-highest wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus) in the organization, even Josh Norris (author of the list) felt he under-ranked Smith. Fourth, for Glenn Otto, his velocity dipped, but it’s helped him develop a nasty slider. It pairs well with his curveball to attack hitters from both sides of the plate.

Joey’s family is from New York. He grew up rooting for the Yankees, so it’s an intriguing reunion for Joey once he returns to the Bronx on August 2nd against the Orioles. Gallo expressed his gratitude to the fans on Tuesday night after the Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks. The farewell to fans was something Gallo wanted to do if this occurrence happened, and now that it did, there are no regrets. “I remember last year when I almost got traded,” Joey said after Tuesday’s game. “There were a lot of, ‘Man I wish I would have done this. I wish I would have said something.’ I talked to Emily, and I want the fans to know that I appreciate everything they’ve done for me, supported me, buying my jerseys. I really appreciate it.”

The Yankees will have another year of control on Joey Gallo in 2022 but will become a free agent after that. Therefore, it’s a slight possibility a reunion occurs, but the Rangers will likely have to overpay a hefty amount for it. In his reign with Texas, Gallo hit 145 home runs, 159 singles, had an OPS of .833, and won a gold glove with the organization.

“I don’t want to see him go,” Chris Woodward said after Tuesday’s game. “I love the kid dearly. He’s a huge part of what we do here and how we do it.” He ends his time with the Rangers organization after nine professional seasons. The media asked Joey what his plans were for the weekend, “To play baseball, for the Texas Rangers, here.” Unfortunately, like anything else, plans do change. Joey will remain in the hearts of Texas Rangers fans (and mine as well), but I’m sure, come next season, he’ll be one New York Yankee that won’t hear many boos.

And enjoy my Rangers7 segment on my podcast with Joey Gallo.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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