3 Yankees who should be traded by 2022 deadline
By Adam Weinrib
The New York Yankees attempted an “addition by subtraction” blitz this offseason, but so far, it appears they didn’t subtract quite enough.
Luke Voit is in San Diego, Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela are in Minnesota, and Tyler Wade, Rougned Odor and Clint Frazier have all gone from roster fodder to possible contributors across the league. That’s an awful lot of changeover! And yet … the team has once again started slow, flirting with .500 but dead on offense.
Yes, amid a league-wide offensive slide, the high-powered Yankees have still been among the very worst.
So … should management continue counting on team-wide bounce backs, which worked so well in 2021 and thus far in 2022? Or is it time to be proactive by dumping a few of their beloved roster minuses at the ’22 trade deadline, while they still have value?
The Bombers have done a solid job treading water thus far against solid competition like Boston and Toronto (and struggling against inferior competition, but we’ll let that slide). Last season, things seemed so much bleaker during a 5-10 start, and eventually the corner was turned thanks to a rash of deadline shakeups.
Sure, offense — home runs, specifically — are down league-wide. Sure, the Yankees aren’t the only ones in a team-wide slump, in both late-and-close situations and normal ol’ opportunities. But, with this pitching staff, even a B-grade offense could lead the 2022 Yanks to glory … so why not go for it?
Of the three players pinpointed here, one was surprisingly not traded over the winter, one likely should’ve been (and there were talks!), but you just knew they wouldn’t have the guts, and one has to get out before it’s too late.
3 Yankees who should be traded before 2022 MLB Trade Deadline
3. Joey Gallo
Say it ain’t so, but so far in 2022, Joey Gallo has looked just as frazzled at the plate as he did in August and Sept. 2021, rendering him nearly unplayable.
We want to love Gallo, a powerful hometown kid made good, and he wants to love us, too. For those who’ve spent time saying “this is just the kind of player he is,” though … that’s not accurate. What Yankee fans have seen is a far worse extreme of the “three true outcomes” slugger Gallo’s been during more effective times.
In 2019 in Texas, he struck out 114 times in 70 games, sure, but he also hit .253 with 22 bombs and a 149 OPS+ as a 25-year-old. With Texas in the first half of 2021, just before the trade, he batted .223 with 25 bombs and a 139 OPS+. Some Yankee fans of an older generation would never accept those numbers as “effective,” but … they blow Yankee Gallo out of the water. That version of the slugger has posted 13 homers in 71 games, including 0 in his first 13 games this season (as well as 0 RBI).
Gallo’s rocking a 21 OPS+ for 2022. It might work somewhere else (in fact, it did work in the only other major league city to ever try it). But it might just … not work here, and it’s beginning to spiral. There has never been a worse version of Joey Gallo.
That said, the sample size remains small — his 93 OPS+ with the Yankees in 2021 feels like an acceptable blip, and is the reason we all believed a “full year” would be different this time around. Some team — like the Padres, who loved Gallo at last year’s deadline and this offseason when the Yankees shopped him — will pay a slightly lesser premium than the Yanks did at last year’s deadline to acquire him. All value is not lost here.