Though some found it hard to believe, it appears as if the New York Yankees were serious about potentially trading Joey Gallo just a few months after acquiring him.
His 58-game cameo with the Bombers in 2021 was pretty much as bad as it could possibly get for a player of Gallo’s caliber, and it was clear he wasn’t exactly a defensive fit in the outfield despite his perceived versatility.
To start the 2022 campaign, it’s somehow been even worse. Gallo is hitting .135 and has ZERO runs scored, homers, RBI and extra-base hits in his first 43 plate appearances. He’s been good for a 21 OPS+. His defense has been bad.
So when fans are now hearing that general manager Brian Cashman reportedly discussed a Gallo trade with the San Diego Padres this offseason, many can’t help but think, “Why the heck didn’t you just pull the trigger?!”
It brings us no pleasure to criticize Gallo and/or wish he weren’t here, but the fans invest far too much time in watching this team and rooting for their success that this kind of output from a guy making $10+ million this year is downright unacceptable. He’s a liability in all facets, and we have no idea why.
Did we see this coming? No, we did not see Gallo getting even worse, but even if his production was on par or marginally better than what he did in 2021, it was evident the Yankees could do better for less money and less of a headache.
Why didn’t the Yankees trade Joey Gallo to the Padres when they had the chance?
OK, the Padres’ payroll situation did pose an issue, but we’re sure something could’ve been worked out on that front. San Diego wanted to remain under the $230 million luxury tax threshold, and Cashman knows all about that game. After all, if the Padres were expressing interest knowing this was a potential roadblock, they were probably willing to work around it, right?
Ohhh … yeah, this “issue” makes more sense. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees didn’t want to “sell low” on Gallo because … they always have to make this difficult! Gallo is in a walk year making $10.275 million with Scott Boras as his agent. He’s as good as gone. But the Yankees can’t possibly “lose” a trade on paper. They have to either win them or carefully construct them to minimize as much risk as possible.
Again, all we’re asking is if the front office is watching the same product as the fans are. Gallo was objectively one of the worst performers in the league during the second half of 2021 and struggled with settling in with his new team (and likely adjusting to the bigger spotlight after playing in Texas for six-plus years).
The alternatives? Not exactly the sexiest, but New York could’ve had Joc Pederson, Andrew McCutchen and Eddie Rosario for cheaper.
God forbid you sell low on a player whose profile is deeply flawed and well-known by the rest of the league. God forbid you sell low on a player you acquired for pretty much a package of prospects you were never, ever going to utilize at the big league level.
God forbid this team ever cuts bait with any player when it’s evident they’ve overstayed their welcome — no matter how short it may seem.