The New York Yankees have acquired OF Joey Gallo and LHP Joely Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers in exchange for IFs Ezequiel Duran, Josh Smith, Trevor Hauver, and RHP Glenn Otto
This is an old-fashioned blockbuster. This is ironic, since Gallo is the very opposite of an old-fashioned player. The outfielder is a .223 hitter with 125 strikeouts before the end of June. But he is still an elite player. How? Well, Gallo has incredible power. His left-handed bat will generate even more home runs with the short porch in the Yankee Stadium right field. He also mashes the ball, regardless of the outcome, Gallo has a 18.4 barrel percentage and a .502 xwOBACON, which does not factor in strikeouts. Secondly, Gallo is still amazing at getting on base. His 19.1 BB% leads the majors. Thirdly, he is an amazing defender. Gallo leads all right-fielders with six outs above average this year after winning his first Gold Glove in 2020. Thanks to Aaron Judge, Gallo will have to move to either left or center field. He will be a free agent after the 2022 season. The Yankees also get Rodriguez back in this deal, who fills the void that was created when Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson were traded to Cincinnati. Rodriguez has one more year left on his contract after this year and is slated to earn $3 million next season. He has a 3.92 xERA this year and his changeup has nearly a 35 percent whiff rate this year.
Gallo, 27, has hit 25 home runs with six stolen bases, a .379 OBP and an .869 OPS in 388 Plate Appearances for the Rangers this year. In his MLB career, all for Texas, Gallo has hit 145 homers with 26 stolen bases, a .336 OBP, and an .833 OPS in 2173 Plate Appearances.
Rodriguez, 29, has a 5.93 ERA with 30 strikeouts and a 1.610 WHIP in 27.1 innings for the Rangers in 2021. In his MLB career for the Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies, Rodriguez has a 5.05 ERA with 72 strikeouts and a 1.578 WHIP in 76.2 innings.
The Rangers certainly made a choice to go with quantity over quality, which is a risky move. They could not pry out any of the top-13 prospects in the Yankees system, per MLB Pipeline. Not giving up righty Clarke Schmidt is a big win for Yankees GM Brian Cashman. The Rangers did get a ton of players from Pipeline’s top-30 Yankees list. Ranked highest is Smith at 14. He was drafted in the 2nd round in 2019 out of LSU. Ranked 15th is Duran, an international signing who quickly rose through the organization’s prospect rankings. Pereira, another international player is 17th. In the third round of the 2020 draft, the Yankees selected Hauver, who has raked at Single-A this year. Otto, ranked 28th, was a 2017 5th round pick. He has really emerged as a high-strikeout starter this season. Finally, Vasquez is the one prospect not ranked by Pipeline. He is a young Dominican in High-A as of now. All six prospects have amazing numbers in the minors this year, so this has the potential to produce many solid pieces for the future of the Rangers.
Hauver, 22, has hit nine home runs with a .445 OBP and a .943 OPS in 299 Plate Appearances for Single-A Tampa this year. In his collegiate career at Arizona State, Hauver hit 18 home runs with a .426 OBP and a .964 OPS in 462 Plate Appearances.
Smith, who will soon be 24, has hit nine home runs with 17 stolen bases, a .448 OBP, and a 1.089 OPS in 175 Plate Appearances between Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley this year. In his minor league career, Smith has hit 12 homers with 23 stolen bases, a .449 OBP, and a 1.018 OPS in 316 Plate Appearances.
Duran, 22, has hit 12 home runs with 12 stolen bases, a .374 OBP, and a .907 OPS in 297 Plate Appearances for Hudson Valley in 2021. In his minor league career, Duran has hit 32 home runs with 34 stolen bases, a .330 OBP, and an .806 OPS in 874 Plate Appearances.
Otto, 25, has a 3.33 ERA with 115 strikeouts and a 1.018 WHIP in 75.2 innings between AA Somerset and AAA Scranton this year. In his minor league career, Otto has a 3.07 ERA with 227 strikeouts and a 1.207 WHIP in 167.1 innings pitched.