“He was worth a lot in the industry a year ago, [he] a lot was traded,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “The real talent level remains. We feel like bringing him in, meeting him with our guys is a real compelling story.
The Dodgers get: Joey Gallo
The Yankees get: RHP Clayton Beeter (Dodgers’ No. 15 prospect)
The Dodgers came into the day hoping to pull off a huge Juan Soto trade. With Soto joining the rival Padres, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had to move on to another target.
A two-time All-Star, Gallo had a nightmare season with the Yankees, posting a .159 average with 12 homers. The 28-year-old is known for his power but has failed to capitalize on it this season. His average exit velocity this season is 88.4 mph, his lowest since 2016. a season in which he only played 17 games.
The outfielder is also known for his high swing and strikeout rate, as he led the Majors in strikeouts last season. That became an even bigger problem this year, as Gallo struck out 106 times in 233 at-bats. His 38.8% save percentage this season is the lowest in the league. In his short time with the Yankees, Gallo had 194 hits in 140 games.
Despite Gallo’s struggles over the past year, the Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery will help the slugger return to his old form. Before joining the Yankees last July, Gallo was an All-Star and had 25 home runs with an .869 OPS for the Rangers. in 2019 he was also an All-Star and had a career-high .986 OPS.
“I think of course [he has] elites, outside the power of the charts,” Friedman said. “Really good decision-making on the field, really good outside linebacker with a really swing-and-miss game. I think just being in a different environment makes our hitting guys as good as they are. … And all year we just ran out of field. So the addition of a very good defensive winger also helps.
It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers find consistent playing time for Gallo. With Chris Taylor still on the injured list, Gallo will split time with Trayce Thompson in left field. Gallo, who is hitting .102 against lefties, will not pitch against southpaws. But he has 11 of 12 homers against right-handers.
With Taylor back, Gallo’s role could see success. The Dodgers could also force Taylor or Thompson to play more in center, pushing the struggling Cody Bellinger into a platoon role. James Outman, who is coming off a historic career, could be the odd man out when Taylor returns.
Until then, however, the Dodgers have removed the length of their position by sending outfielder Jake Lamb to the Mariners for a player to be named later or money.
Lamb posted a .770 OPS and two home runs in 25 games with the Dodgers this season. Given that Gallo is a free agent at the end of the season, the Dodgers see the move as low-risk, high-reward.
“He’s going to play and I’ve got to find a way to distribute the playing time to all these guys,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “My plea to him was just to take this new opportunity, this new start.”
Beeter, 23, has a 5.75 ERA in 18 games (16 starts) this season.