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Yankees Reportedly Trade Joey Gallo to Dodgers for Clayton Beeter

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2022

Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The New York Yankees are finalizing a deal to trade outfielder Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times confirmed a deal is done, pending physicals.

Pat Ragazzo of Inside the Mets reported the Dodgers will send minor league pitcher Clayton Beeter to the Yankees.

In April, the New York Post's Jon Heyman reported the San Diego Padres discussed a Gallo trade during spring training. Negotiations never went anywhere because the Yankees were "believed to have been seeking a return befitting his ability, not his recent achievements."

The Bronx Bombers might wish in retrospect they took whatever San Diego's best offer was. Gallo struggled in the second half of the 2021 season following his trade from the Texas Rangers, and his performance has only gotten worse.

Through 82 games, he's batting .159 and isn't providing enough power to make up for how little he's getting on base (.282 OBP). He has 12 home runs, a .339 slugging percentage and a 78 OPS+, per Baseball Reference.

Adding Gallo last summer made sense. Beyond the fact he boasted an .869 OPS in the first half with the Rangers, the left-handed slugger seemed to be built perfectly for the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.

His first home run was a high fly ball that's probably caught by the right fielder in any other MLB park.

Making contact is a prerequisite to hitting dingers, though, and Gallo hasn't done the former with enough regularity.

The free-swinging 28-year-old has always struck out at a high rate, but the 2022 season has been bad even by his standards. Per FanGraphs, he's striking out in 38.8 percent of his plate appearances.

Opposing pitchers appear to have found one way to neutralize Gallo's prodigious power, and it involves a lot of fastballs up in the zone.

Lindsey Adler @lindseyadler

Pitch chart for 4-seam fastballs that generated a swing-and-miss from Joey Gallo this season. Starting to think the book is out on that one. <a href="https://t.co/DiZ68KIn1H">pic.twitter.com/DiZ68KIn1H</a>

According to Baseball Savant, he had a .235 batting average and a .574 slugging percentage on fastballs in 2021. Those numbers are .185 and .412, respectively, in 2022.

In his April report, Heyman cited a scout who said the Big Apple was a "challenge" for Gallo and "gets in his dome." The added scrutiny that comes with playing in New York City can bring out the best in some players, but that isn't true for everybody.

Gallo spoke about the difficulties in an interview with NJ Advance Media's Randy Miller:

"Coming here, I knew it was going to be really tough. It took a while for people to understand the player I am in Texas. Early on, I was the No. 1 prospect, but I struck out a lot. I was a strange player. But Rangers fans started to understand, 'OK, this guy strikes out, but he hits homers, he plays good defense, he's a good person.' Rangers fans came to understand that. Here in New York, if you don't get enough hits, it doesn't matter what else you're doing. They're going to tear you apart. I've been a Three True Outcomes player my whole life. It's not like I hit .300 my whole life. I've been a .200 hitter my whole life and I hit .160 here. So I knew New York was going to be a tough time and a tough place to play, especially the player that I am."

A change of scenery might help Gallo rebound at the plate, and Los Angeles is taking that bet with this trade.

His impending free agency also mitigates the risk for the Dodgers since they can make a clean break in the offseason if the partnership doesn't work out.

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