MLB Rumors: Yankees, Padres discussed Joey Gallo trade during spring training, report says

Back in spring training, the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres discussed a trade involving Joey Gallo, reports the New York Post. A deal was not reached because the Yankees “supposedly sought a return worthy of his abilities, not his recent accomplishments.”

Gallo, 28, struggled after joining the Yankees in a trade from the Texas Rangers at the deadline last summer and he’s started slow this year, going 4 for 33 (.121) with 15 outs in batting and zero extra hits in 12 games. In 70 games with the Yankees, Gallo hit .154/.296/.362 with 13 home runs and 103 strikeouts.

“I’m not playing well enough right now to be in the starting lineup every day. I understand that,” Gallo told reporters, including NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty, of his bench Wednesday. “…Whatever is best for the team. I haven’t had great results at the moment. It’s part of the process of playing a full season and so on. Some guys swing the ball really well. beat and help us win games. It’s more important to do today. These guys are going to help us win while I’m thinking.

The Padres reportedly attempted to acquire Gallo at last year’s trade deadline and general manager AJ Preller has a long history of recruiting players he’s known from his Texas front office days. Current Padres Jorge Alfaro, Nick Martinez and Jurickson Profar overlapped with Preller during their time with Rangers, as did Gallo when he was a minor leaguer.

Gallo was an All-Star with the Rangers last year, hitting .223/.379/.490 with 25 home runs in 95 games before the trade. He’s a flawed hitter who hits excessively, though he makes up for it with walks (league-leading 111 walks last year) and power, as well as a Gold Glove defense and excellent underhand base running. . Gallo has yet to play plate with the Yankees, however.

April trades are rare, especially April trades involving two clubs trying to wrestle, although the Yankees and Padres can always revisit their Gallo trade talks closer to the deadline. In April, each team is still evaluating what they have on their roster and what exactly their needs are. The fact that the Yankees need an outfielder to replace Gallo also complicates a potential trade.

It should be noted that, in Chris Paddack’s trade with the Twins, the Padres received $6.6 million in cash, keeping them below the competitive payroll tax threshold of $230 million (FanGraphs pegs their payroll at $228.8 million). Gallo is earning $10.275 million this year, his last season before free agency. To make a business work financially, either the Yankees would need to inject a lot of cash, or the Padres would have to be willing to pay a luxury tax.

The Yankees and Padres made a trade in spring training. San Diego acquired Luke Voit from the Yankees for a prospect, and it’s possible the Padres initially inquired about Gallo, and when the two sides couldn’t find a match, they moved on to Voit. Voit stepped in as San Diego’s DH, and the Padres could still use a corner fielder.

Neal T. Doss