1. Joey Gallo
Brian Cashman took a valid chance at the 2021 trade deadline and acquired slugger Joey Gallo using four prospects, three of whom were on the 40-man chopping block at the end of the season regardless. If he hadn’t cashed in those chips for a 40-homer wild card, the Yankees would’ve had several different internal debates weighing on them at the end of last season. “JP Sears or Josh Smith? Oswaldo Cabrera or Ezequiel Duran?” Things that were already uncomfortable would’ve hit an additional level of awkwardness.
There was no issue with trying Gallo then, and there remains no issue a year later. It was a valiant attempt at a deadline spark plug using pieces who would’ve been jettisoned for nothing a few months later. Unfortunately, something happened when Gallo entered the Bronx that has taken any consistency in his swing and done away with it.
If and when he thrives elsewhere — and it will happen — Yankee fans shouldn’t be upset. They should attempt to muster up a cheer for someone who went through the wringer in the Bronx for a year, failing repeatedly to live out a childhood dream. Watching Sonny Gray succeed after he blithely shrugged through his time in the Bronx was one thing. Watching Gallo succeed will feel cathartic for both he and this fan base.
For now, though, it’s over. There is nothing more for Gallo to do. For as long as he’s in the Bronx, this is his profile.
Ending his Yankee tenure with a home run against John Schreiber of the Red Sox at home, just before the All-Star break, would’ve been ideal. Ending it next week, however, will be the next best thing.