The Yankees secured good — no, great — value when they reportedly finalized their acquisition of Joey Gallo (and reliever Joely Rodriguez) on Wednesday night. They were able to finesse the Rangers into paying all of their two players’ remaining salaries in order to facilitate further deadline movement, and they weren’t forced to surrender any of their top-13 prospects in a “quantity over quality” package.
That said … nobody ripped anybody off.
The Rangers got plenty of value from the Yankees’ farm system depth, including three of their fastest risers of an exceptional 2021 season below the major-league level.
Just because the pedigree isn’t quite where many prognosticators expected it to be does not mean the Rangers received nothing worth mentioning. In fact, you’ll probably see some of the return in Texas by the end of August.
Glenn Otto, Trevor Hauver and Josh Smith were three of the fastest risers in the Yankees system, which was progressing nicely as a whole this season below the surface while the MLB team struggled.
Hauver and Otto both produced mind-bending stretches that flashed the heights of their potential, and all Smith did was post a 1.089 OPS across two levels this year while losing the battle of the headlines to 2019 first-round pick Anthony Volpe.
Oh, and Ezequiel Duran was a near-top-10 organizational talent mashing at the High-A level. You could stand to do worse.
The Yankees didn’t fleece the Rangers in the Joey Gallo trade. They paid fair value.
All four prospects the Yankees sent to the Rangers busted through their ceilings to a degree in 2021, and along with Volpe, were essentially the poster boys for an organization-wide breakout.
Those reputational changes came via feats of strength. Otto, with his release point lowered and a slider added, uncorked 14 strikeouts in an eye-opening 5.1-inning outing on May 20. Hauver, whose bat has always played but whose defense has lagged, mashed six dingers in his first five games of the 2021 season. These may not be the upper-echelon prospects Rangers fans dreamed of receiving, but they’re players who’ve entered the consciousness this year with impossible-to-ignore bursts of evident stardom.
Yes, the Yankees “escaped” this deal without surrendering Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, Luis Medina, Luis Gil or Clarke Schmidt. In essence, though, they gave up a few players who may have passed Schmidt on the organizational pecking order, and may have higher upside than Gil, who simply arrived first.
The Yankees did what they had to do. With the Rule 5 draft on the horizon, Otto either had to receive protection or be proactively used in a trade. Same with Hoy Park a few days back. With Volpe’s emergence, Smith was rendered slightly less essential.
Hauver and Duran are departures that hurt, but again … Joey Gallo is the type of acquisition that forces you to use top-15 prospects as “trade filler.”
It’s slightly odd the Rangers would agree to take on all the necessary salary just to facilitate a trade without a top-10 prospect. But the baseball world will likely find out before 2021 has ended that New York did surrender adequate and fast-rising value here.
Glenn Otto will be up and twirling before the end of the season. Mark that in ink.