The Rangers and Yankees agreed to an eight-player blockbuster trade on Wednesday evening. The deal will send power-hitting outfielder Joey Gallo and reliever Joely Rodriguez to New York. In return, the Yankees have dealt Trevor Hauver, Ezequiel Duran, Glenn Otto, and Josh Smith to the Rangers.
Texas is ultimately expected to send enough cash to the Yankees to cover almost all of Gallo’s remaining salary in 2021.
The Yankees initially pursued Marlins outfielder Starling Marte before he was traded to the Athletics. Now, they pivot to an equally valuable option in Gallo. The left-handed power hitter should have no trouble launching baseballs over the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
Through 95 games this season, the two-time All-Star is slashing .223/.379/.490 with 25 homers, 55 RBI, 74 walks (best in MLB), and 125 strikeouts. He ranks among the top 10 percent of all MLB players in xwOBA, maximum exit velocity, chase rate, and outfielder jump. He’s among the top five percent in barrel rate and outs above average. The 27-year-old will earn $6.2 million in total this season and be eligible for arbitration in 2022.
Gallo will instantly slot in as a starter for the Yankees. Presumably, he’ll spend most of his time in the outfield, which will allow Giancarlo Stanton to serve as the designated hitter. However, Gallo can also rotate in at designated hitter.
Joely Rodriguez will provide New York with valuable bullpen depth, especially after they trade away Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson. Under contract through 2022, the 29-year-old Rodriguez is 1-3 with a 5.93 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 9.4 percent walk rate, and 23.4 percent strikeout rate. He ranks among the top four percent of MLB pitchers in terms of chase rate.
Gallo’s market had fluctuated recently. At one point over the past weekend, reports indicated that Texas would hold on to Gallo and instead try to extend him. Later, there was chatter that the Rangers and Padres were discussing a swap that would send Eric Hosmer, cash, and prospects to Texas. In the end, though, the Yankees get the power-hitting Gallo and much-needed relief help in Rodriguez.
Now, let’s dive into the return for Texas.
Hauver, 22, is an infielder who throws right-handed and bats lefty. He was a third-round pick in 2020 and is slashing .288/.445/.498 with nine homers, 49 RBI, 64 walks, and 78 strikeouts at Single-A this year. He ranks 23rd among Yankees prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
Ezequiel Duran, a 22-year-old infielder, was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $10,000 in 2017. Through 67 games at High-A this year, he is slashing .290/.374/.533 with 12 homers, 48 RBI, 28 walks, 71 strikeouts, and 12 stolen bases. He ranks 15th among Yankees prospects, per Pipeline.
Otto, also a right-handed pitcher, was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Now 25 years old, he is 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .216 OBA, 17 walks, and 115 strikeouts over 13 games (12 starts) between Double- and Triple-A. Evidently, his game is focused on low walk and high strikeout rates. He ranks 28th among Yankees prospects and should debut next season.
The final piece involved is infielder Josh Smith. The 23-year-old was a second-round pick in 2019. Through 39 games between High-A and Double-A, he is slashing .324/.448/.641 with nine homers, 24 RBI, 23 walks, and 33 strikeouts. He’s an absolute speed demon, swiping 17 bases. He ranks 14th among Yankees prospects.