Identifying the 5 Best Trade Landing Spots for Rangers All-Star Joey Gallo

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterJuly 16, 2021

Identifying the 5 Best Trade Landing Spots for Rangers All-Star Joey Gallo

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    As Major League Baseball's July 30 trade deadline approaches, no single player's trade value is rising as fast as Joey Gallo's. 

    The two-time All-Star and 2020 Gold Glove winner got off to a tepid start, but he's more recently been on fire ever since MLB's crackdown on foreign substances coincided with a widespread decrease in spin rate. He homered 13 times in 18 games leading up to the All-Star break.

    Overall, Gallo is now hitting .239/.402/.522 with 24 home runs and the third-most rWAR among American League position players. And according to ESPN's Jeff Passan—by way of Jessica Kleinschmidt of NBC Sports Bay Area—it's now "very likely" that the Texas Rangers will trade the 27-year-old slugger.

    If so, there's no time like the present to break down his trade value and identify five teams where he would fit best.

What Is Gallo's Trade Value?

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    As a trade chip, Gallo isn't altogether perfect.

    To wit, he's a .213 career hitter who still isn't hitting above MLB average in 2021. And while he's hot now, he's also been known to go cold. For evidence of that, see earlier this season or all of last season, in which he hit only .181/.301/.378 with 10 homers in 57 games.

    Nevertheless, this is the second season out of the last three in which Gallo has pushed his OPS up over .900. There's more to that than the 6'5", 250-pounder's prodigious power. He's also a discerning hitter, and never more so than in 2021, as he leads the majors with 72 walks.

    What's more, Gallo truly is a difference-making defender on account of his decent speed and Howitzer of a throwing arm. He also comes with an affordable $6.2 million salary, and he's under club control through 2022.

    With all of these things considered, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is likely right on the money in thinking that the Rangers would "have to get somebody from the top 50 prospects in baseball and somebody who could be primed and ready for the big leagues in 2022" in a trade for Gallo.

    As such, let's rank Gallo's best fits in terms of how bad they need him and what they can offer for him.

5. Cleveland

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    If it's simply a question of which contender needs Gallo's skills the most, Cleveland arguably belongs at the very top of the list.

    The team's offense ranks second from the bottom in the American League with a .298 on-base percentage, and is likewise tied for last with an 88 OPS+.

    Much of Cleveland's offensive futility stems from its outfield, which has produced only 28 home runs. That's where Gallo would come in, specifically in a right field slot that's mostly bounced between Josh Naylor and Harold Ramirez. Moreover, right field has been a sore spot defensively with minus-two outs above average.

    If Cleveland is willing to deal with the Rangers, it could offer third baseman Nolan Jones,'s No. 26 prospect, as a centerpiece. But even though the team is second in the AL Central at 45-42, that will ultimately require a willingness to add to the club's MLB-low $52.8 million payroll.

4. Chicago White Sox

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    No thanks to injuries to left fielder Eloy Jimenez (chest) and center fielder Luis Robert (hip), the Chicago White Sox have had issues with their outfield depth all season.

    Now that Adam Eaton is out of the picture after his release, the White Sox also suddenly have a gaping hole in right field. Though they already comfortably lead the AL Central with a 54-35 record, filling that hole with Gallo would go a long way toward boosting their odds of reaching the World Series.

    In particular, Gallo's power should appeal to the White Sox. They've gotten only 10 home runs from right field, and their overall rank among AL clubs in homers has slipped from first in 2020 to 14th in 2021.

    The catch is that the White Sox don't have any top-50 (or even top-100) prospects to offer Texas, according to So unless Chicago is willing to dangle young hurlers Michael Kopech or Garrett Crochet, there might not be a deal to be made between the two teams.

3. New York Yankees

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Whether the New York Yankees are currently interested in Gallo is unclear, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post recently wrote that they have "consistently had eyes" for the slugger.

    But is another slugger really what the Yankees need to salvage a season in which they're currently in third place in the AL East at 46-43?

    Maybe, actually.

    If Gallo were to line up alongside Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, New York's lineup would feature arguably the three most powerful hitters in baseball. Plus, Gallo's left-handed stick would be a boon to an offense that's gotten only 17 homers from the left side.

    The tricky part would be the acquisition cost on the Yankees' part. At No. 24, 18-year-old outfielder Jasson Dominguez is the only prospect they have in's top 50. And since he's nowhere close to being ready for the majors, he might not be what the Rangers are looking for.

2. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    Go back to May 29, and the St. Louis Cardinals were eight games over .500 and in first place in the NL Central. Ever since then, they've gone 14-24 to slip into third place.

    Among the Cardinals' biggest problems is a lack of power, specifically in right field and from the left side of the plate. Right field has produced only two home runs all year, while the team's 15 homers from left-handed hitters ranks last in the National League.

    To these ends, a trade for Gallo would be a one-stone, two-birds situation. His defense would also be welcome, as the Cardinals are under water with minus-one outs above average from their outfield so far.

    To barter with the Rangers, the Cardinals could offer either's No. 27 prospect, left-hander Matthew Liberatore, or its No. 28 prospect, third baseman Nolan Gorman. Because the latter is blocked by Nolan Arenado, St. Louis might be willing to sacrifice him for a year-and-a-half of Gallo.

1. San Diego Padres

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Between Wil Myers, Trent Grisham and Tommy Pham, the San Diego Padres already have a solid trio of outfielders. But according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic, they're "particularly interested" in Gallo anyway.

    The Padres may be thinking they need to get the best player available and figure out the playing time picture after the fact. That isn't such a bad idea, as the team went into the break on a 4-7 skid that dropped it to six games out in a competitive NL West race.

    As for how a possible trade might come together, it can't hurt that there are connections between San Diego's and Texas' front offices. Padres general manager A.J. Preller used to work under Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels. San Diego manager Jayce Tingler also worked for the Rangers.

    More to the point, the Padres have three of's best prospects in their system: left-hander MacKenzie Gore (No. 6), shortstop CJ Abrams (No. 8) and catcher Luis Campusano (No. 31). Any of the three could pique Texas' interest.


    Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and Baseball Savant.