Somebody thinks the Atlanta Braves should check out Joey Gallo

Is there any chance New York Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo might be an option for the Atlanta Braves?? Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Is there any chance New York Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo might be an option for the Atlanta Braves?? Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The good news for the Yankees:  Joey Gallo isn’t signed beyond 2022.  But should their problem become an Atlanta Braves’ issue?

The Atlanta Braves aren’t above the idea of “taking a flier” on a player having a down year.

That’s why Robinson Cano is currently on the roster.  That’s why others have been mixed in and out over… well, several years, actually.  Every team wants a chance to catch lightning in a bottle, as it were.

Does that principle apply to Yankees’ outfielder Joey Gallo?

Before you completely dismiss this as speculation, there’s this:

Now to say that Yankees fans are done with Gallo might be something of an understatement…

… but since a couple of legit New York writers have put themselves out there on this topic, let’s at least talk about it for a moment.  I mean… there’s nothing else going on now, right?

Thoughts in favor of Gallo

  • He is a decent fielder.  No — I don’t think he’s Adam-Duvall-good, but then again, we don’t actually have Duvall available now and finding a better defender for left field might be tough.
  • 2021 saw Gallo slug 38 homers.  That despite a hitting average of just .199.
  • He’s still young:  this is his age 28 season, so he should be in his prime.
  • There are said to be players who are built to play well in New York City and others who are not.  There’s an argument to be made that Gallo simply needs to get out of that environment, and he’d thrive again.

Thoughts against Gallo

  • Gallo’s homer split last year favored home games by a 22-16 margin.  That differential this season is reversed (8 on the road, 4 at home), but it’s hard to say whether that’s really a trend since he’s hitting so badly.
  • Gallo’s performance retreat may have started way earlier.  In 2017 and 2018 with Texas, he hit .209 and .206 respectively.  A .253 average in 2019 is actually his career best.  So while he’s continued to regress in New York (.160, .159), it’s hard to conclude anything other than “this is really what he is”.
  • Granted, Adam Duvall didn’t do a lot better this season (and his homer production was way down), but other than “a change of scenery”, a relocation to Atlanta doesn’t hold much promise for future improvement.
  • If fielding prowess was enough, then we’d be fine with Guillermo Heredia.

What it would take

The Yankees are paying Gallo $10.28 million for the season.  There is no one who would send anything of value — excepting perhaps a bad contract — to New York in exchange for Gallo’s services.

(Even so, I can’t imagine the Braves sending an actually serviceable Will Smith to New York… and the Yankees wouldn’t take Marcell Ozuna).

In point of fact, depending on what the Yankees do over the next 2 days, they might need a roster spot cleared for a trade acquisition.  The odds-on favorite to be DFA’d to create such a space would be Gallo himself.

Once clearing waivers, Gallo would opt for free agency.  That would trigger his release from the Yankees and keep them on the hook for his entire salary.  At that point (despite being after the trade deadline), any team could sign him for the major league minimum, pro-rated for the final 50-odd games of the year.

This is the ONLY scenario in which I could see the Braves “taking a flier” on Gallo… and that’s likely only if all of their trade opportunities fail for legitimate outfield help between now and Tuesday evening.

So while I can understand the mindset of New York fans here — they want to get rid of Gallo in the worst way — they’ll simply have to wait for a few more days until the demands of their own roster make this happen.

But as for the Braves?  Don’t look here to help bail out the pinstripes.