Joey Gallo hit a HR in his first-ever game as a Texas Ranger. Turns out, he also hit a HR in his last game as a Ranger.
The Texas Rangers traded OF Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees in a 6-player deal that has many wondering what the Rangers are doing. Most Ranger fans have questions and let’s see if we can answer them.
Why Didn’t the Rangers Extend Gallo?
This is a question we may never have the exact answer for. Gallo had said that he always envisioned himself as a Ranger and wanted to remain in Texas. Jim Bowden of The Athletic reported that the Rangers had an OVER VALUE offer on the table, according to his sources. If true, what happened? My guess is one of three things that happened. A) There wasn’t actually an offer B) Gallo didn’t really plan on extending C) The offer wasn’t good enough for what Gallo expected. Jon Daniel explained this way, “I think when we talk about rebuilding that there can’t be any half measures, right”?
He continued, “If you are going to embrace that, you have to be realistic about what the options are, and that’s why it was very clear to us it was an extension or a trade. Both were strong considerations. Bot got a lot of time internally. When we had a chance to get four players of this caliber – three we think can be everyday bats in the big leagues and a potential starting pitcher – and the extension wasn’t, in our minds, likely at this point in time, we didn’t want to pass that up.”
That lead to the Rangers deciding to deal Gallo.
How Come the Rangers Didn’t Get Better Prospects?
This is the question that seems to never have a satisfactory answer. The answer is simple, this was the best offer on the table and the Rangers liked it. Now some will never believe this is true and think that Jon Daniel and Chris Young blew it. For those fans, don’t read any further because you are not going to like what is coming. The Rangers front office does not make a trade unless they like what they are getting in return. They have always gone with what they perceive as the best offer that they like. If you don’t believe me, remember when you were all crying over NOT trading Mike Minor and Lance Lynn at the deadline?
The Rangers don’t trade players unless they are happy with the return. Now, this doesn’t mean the return is always a good one. But the Rangers will not give someone away if they think the return is bad. That means they were happy with the return for Gallo and Joely Rodriquez.
How Good Are the Prospects the Rangers Got?
Not knowing the Yankees system well, I have to defer to minor league ranking systems and actual numbers to assess that. With that being said, Baseball America, Fangraphs, and MLB Pipeline have given good ratings to all four players. Most Top 30 rankings for each team were done before the season along with the Top 100 for the entire league. I am hearing that two of the of prospects were headed into the Top 10 for Yankees and Top 100 nationally.
Those two are 2B/SS Ezequiel Duran and SS Josh Smith. Duran seems to have the most upside and had some good numbers at High A Hudson Valley where he was hitting .290 with 12 HRs and .907 OPS. Smith was good coming out of LSU and they say he will stay at SS. This season he is hitting .324 with 12 HRs and an impressive OPS of 1.018 between Tampa and Hudson Valley.
The Rangers also received 2B Trevor Hauver and RHP Glenn Otto. Hauver is all hit with questions on defense. He was at Low A Tampa where he was hitting .288 with 9 HRs and a .943 OPS. Otto is the most major league ready and will likely be in the big leagues soon. He has pitched in both AA and AAA this season for the Yankees and combined is 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA. Most importantly he has struck out 115 in just over 75 innings.
What Are the Rangers Doing?
The Rangers seem to be building this team from the bottom up like they did before the World Series runs. Let’s examine this closely to see. In 2007 the Rangers had the 28th ranked system in baseball according to Baseball America. Today they have the 24th ranked system. In 2007 the Rangers traded top star Mark Texieria and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay to the Braves for 5 prospects. The Rangers traded top star Joey Gallo to Yankees along with LHP Joely Rodriguez for 4 prospects. In 2008 the Ranger went from 28th to 4th in system rankings. We don’t know where the Rangers will end up in the 2022 rankings but with the impending prospects from Gibson and Kennedy trades along with Jack Leiter and Aaron Zavala, you have to think it will be a big jump.
In 2009 the Rangers system was the 1st overall system in baseball. In 2010 they were the second-best system. Why does this matter? Go read the first thing I ever wrote “The Rangers Are Building Currency” in 2018. It explains how a winning organization uses prospects like currency when they are a winning team.
I also explain the Cliff Lee trade that helped propel the Rangers into the Fall Classic. The teams at the top have solid minor league systems that help them get trade deadline help during winning seasons.
Are the Rangers destined for another playoff run? Who knows!
They did increase the value of their minor league system. Now? Again………. Who Knows!
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