A deal between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers was agreed upon on Wednesday night, but after a few changes and adjustments, it was made official and announced on Thursday.
The Yankees are getting outfielder Joey Gallo and left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez, while four prospects are going to Texas: infielders Trevor Hauver, Josh Smith, and Ezequiel Duran, and right-handed pitcher Glen Otto.
The return to Texas for OF Joey Gallo and left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez, if the trade is completed as expected, would be 2B Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith, right-hander Glenn Otto and 2B/OF Trevor Hauver, per sources.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2021
The Rangers are getting heat on social media for their seemingly light return.
While they are getting no stars, the haul is actually quite valuable and could result in a few regular contributors.
Having said this, the Yankees should be viewed as big winners after the transaction.
Prospect lists usually fluctuate in-season because of natural development, injuries, and other factors, but the Yankees are getting an elite power hitter and a superb outfield defender without surrendering any of their pre-season top 10 prospects.
At the moment of making the trade, it’s possible that some of those young players had top-10 consideration, but the Yankees are bringing what will be their second-best hitter (behind Aaron Judge) and perhaps their best defender for a very affordable cost.
Additionally, the Rangers are covering most of the salaries involved in the transaction, giving the Yankees additional room under the luxury tax threshold to add another bat, or perhaps a reliever.
Gallo Is A Star
A lot of people are fixated on the .223 batting average to criticize their acquisition of Gallo.
However, he is getting on base at a .379 clip, with 25 homers and a .490 slugging percentage.
That’s good for a .869 OPS.
He may strike out a ton, but Gallo takes loads of walks and has massive power that will play nicely at Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch.
He is also an elite outfield defender judging by all metrics, and he has been described as a terrific clubhouse presence.
The Yankees preferred John King as their left-handed reliever to join Gallo in his trip to the Bronx, but they reportedly didn’t like his medicals and chose Joely Rodriguez instead.
Rodriguez gets lots of groundballs and while he has a 5.93 ERA, other run prevention metrics say he has been much better, like Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP (3.70), expected FIP (3.20), and expected ERA (3.76.)
Looking At The Rangers’ Return
If you consider the fact Gallo is a star, and no preseason top 10 players are going to Texas in return, then probably think the Rangers got fleeced.
Fangraphs’ prospect analyst provided a short review of every player.
It lacks stars, but TEX has the deepest system in the sport. This deal has a top 100 guy (Duran), a second division MIF piece not far off the 100 (Smith), an upside lotto ticket (Pereira), two high-probability role-player types (Hauver, Otto), and a spin rate freak (Vasquez). 👍 https://t.co/unb05URPB8
— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) July 29, 2021
He talks about six prospects because the original deal that included John King had six young players going to Texas, but Pereira and Vasquez ended up staying with the Yanks.
Smith is a 2019 second-round pick capable of playing second base and shortstop, and is hitting .324/.448/.641 with nine homers this season between two minor league levels.
Duran is also a bat-first middle infielder with a potent bat, hitting .290/.374/.533 with 12 homers in 259 plate appearances in High-A.
Hauver was a high-round pick in the 2020 Draft, and boasts a potent bat that the Rangers hope can draw walks and hit for both average and power when he is fully developed.
Otto has a very good fastball-curveball combo and could become a usable pitcher.
Overall, it wasn’t the best of returns for Texas, but it also wasn’t a total robbery.
The Yankees, however, are the clear winners of the trade.