Could Michael Conforto actually become Joey Gallo’s Yankees replacement?
One Italian for another? Perfecto!! Just kidding. Old jokes. Cheap laughs. No more. Because there’s only one productive Italiano in the Bronx right now, and it’s Anthony Rizzo. Joey Gallo is no more. There’s no possible way New York Yankees fans can actively defend his play through his first 120 games in pinstripes. It’s all in his head and there’s nothing that can be done.
Well, there is one thing. He needs to be traded before the deadline and the Bombers need a left-handed replacement. That much is fairly non-negotiable.
But who do the Yankees roster instead? This will likely feature multiple moves, because general manager Brian Cashman isn’t trading Gallo for his replacement. Unloading Gallo’s salary might be problematic alone.
Trade Gallo. Get another couple pitchers (starter and reliever). Get another outfielder. Package deals always work. We’ve talked about doing something like that with the Chicago Cubs involving reliever David Robertson and outfielder Ian Happ. That’d be ideal. Championship move.
But that’ll be costly. The best team in baseball won’t be able to pull off heists unless it’s Cashman eyeing under-the-radar talent and taking risks.
In that case, maybe they pay the price to add pitching depth and … acquire a free agent to replace Gallo? Is there a possibility Michael Conforto can join the Yankees for a couple of months and fill a corner outfield role?
Might the Yankees eye Michael Conforto to replace Joey Gallo?
The tweet above is, in fact, old news. Conforto did undergo shoulder surgery and was initially believed to be done for the season, but his agent Scott Boras came out weeks later to backtrack,claiming his client could still return in 2022.
"“There is a possibility the swinging modality can be back to normal at a much earlier date than the throwing aspect,” Boras said. “He had his surgery in April. There’s a chance depending on how he progresses that [hitting in the majors late in the season] is a possibility.”"
The problem is the unclear timeline. Does this mean September? August? If it’s mid-August, why wouldn’t the Yankees take a chance here? It’d cost very little money and no prospects/assets. Conforto is a power lefty bat capable of playing a solid left and right field. His “disappointing” 2021 season (.232 AVG, .759 OPS, 100 OPS+) in 125 games is exponentially better than what Gallo has done in New York.
Coming off surgery is a different story, though. Conforto will be even more rusty. But it might be a risk the Yankees wouldn’t be afraid to take assuming the trade market doesn’t materialize to their liking.
And we’re not entirely out of our minds here. Not too long ago, Jon Heyman of the New York Post surmised Conforto could be a fit for the White Sox later in the season due to their issues in the outfield. Chicago is far more desperate than New York for help on offense, too.
Until we know more about Conforto, this is at least worth wondering. And if it doesn’t happen in 2022, don’t be shocked if it’s a possibility in 2023 when the Yankees could be looking for even more outfield help.