New York Yankees fans were positive Joey Gallo was going to return to vintage form the second he traded in his pinstripes for Dodger Blue after a deadline deal with Los Angeles this past season. Thankfully, despite all the Ls the Yankees took these past few years, this didn’t end up being one of them.
Gallo, who got off to a “hot start” in LA with a timely home run and a few hits off position players who happened to be pitching, remained his usual disappointing self. He posted nearly the exact subpar production with the Dodgers that he did during the first half with New York.
After hitting .162 with a .671 OPS and 83 OPS+ (while striking out 57 times in 137 plate appearances), Gallo didn’t log an at-bat in the team’s postseason series against the Padres. He came in as a defensive replacement and that was it.
Brian Cashman got the best of Andrew Friedman. Yes, he did. Gotta tip our cap, despite the various other reasons to be frustrated with the Yankees’ general manager (still not under contract for 2023!).
After acquiring Gallo for a bunch of prospects the Yankees were never going to utilize due to their organizational depth, Cash then traded Gallo for Clayton Beeter, who has since cracked the Yankees’ top 10 prospects, per MLB Pipeline. As a result, even the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, the Somerset Patriots, are taking shots at the Dodgers for their poor deadline dealings.
Yankees’ affiliate trolls Dodgers over Joey Gallo trade
Beeter, a former second-round pick back in 2020, had been struggling mightily with the Dodgers in 2022 after a fairly promising start to his professional career. In 18 games (16 starts) at Double-A Tulsa, the right-hander had a 5.75 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. The promising figure? 88 strikeouts in 51.2 innings.
The Yankees took that and ran with it. Beeter came to New York and immediately began working at Double-A Somerset, where he logged a 2.13 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in seven starts (25.1 innings).
There’s obviously still a lot of work to be done, but those early returns are promising and indicate Cashman may have turned a sunk cost into a promising asset. After a few mechanical tweaks, Beeter saw his HR/9 drop from 1.7 to 0.4; his BB/9 drop from 6.1 to 3.9; and his H/9 drop from 8.4 to 5.7.
It’s important to note that those seven starts were a small sample size … but that drastic 180 from his previous 18 games can’t be ignored, and clearly shows the Yankees were pressing the right buttons.
Regardless of that, anybody who could perform to 35% of their potential was a good return for Gallo, who has been one of the worst players in all of MLB, but has been given a longer leash because of his past accomplishments.
The Dodgers learned that the hard way, too, and even a wizard like Friedman couldn’t avoid the lackluster play/humorous backlash after making this deal.