The San Diego Padres apparently really want slugger Joey Gallo in their lineup by the July 30 trade deadline.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the National League West club "is practically panting for Gallo" and cited one source who said the Texas Rangers star is someone general manager A.J. Preller "might unload for" in a deal.
Gallo is scheduled for arbitration for 2022 and is not slated for unrestricted free agency until 2023, making him potentially more than just a rental for the Padres if they were able to acquire him via trade.
As for Texas, it is in last place in the American League West and doesn't look primed to compete in the immediate future. Trading someone like Gallo to a team that is reportedly desperate to land him is a quick way to restock the farm system and accelerate a rebuild.
From San Diego's perspective, he would add even more pop to a lineup that already includes Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth and others and would help in a daunting National League West that also features the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gallo, 27, is slashing .235/.394/.516 with 24 home runs and 52 RBI this season as one of the best power hitters in the league.
He would provide a left-handed bat alongside the right-handed Tatis and Machado and has 11 home runs in his last 15 games. He seems to be peaking as the season progresses and would make life even more difficult on opposing pitching staffs.
That is a rather daunting thought after the Padres put up 41 runs in a three-game series against the Washington Nationals to start the season's second half.
For now San Diego is five games back of the Giants and four games back of the Dodgers, but Gallo is someone who could help close that gap and at least ensure the team ends up with a wild-card spot.