“ I’m a Texas Ranger until I’m told I’m not ”
SEATTLE – If nothing else, Joey Gallo thought to himself, last year prepared him for what was to come: trade talks. And a lot.
Not that he can’t wait.
No, he would much prefer to stay with the Rangers, he said. But, he added, there were also no talks about a contract extension. Facts on the ground mean the next two months will likely be full of discussions about his future ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
“I’m pretty used to it now,” Gallo said when asked how commercial gossip might impact him. “I got a really good taste of what it was like last year. I understand this is a business. I would obviously love to be here. But rumors are already circulating. I get text messages every other day about where I’m supposed to be exchanged.
“I’m not worried about it,” he added. “I’m worried about how we’re going to build a winner here in Texas because it’s the only organization I’ve been with and I want to be part of the solution. I think we’re very close to being a playoff-caliber team and eventually winning a World Series. I’m a Texas Ranger until I’m told I’m not.
On those “rumors,” former general manager Jim Bowden recently suggested that the Yankees trade for Gallo to help their situation on the pitch. There will be more with the Rangers falling further from the pace in the AL.
Gallo, 27, is eligible for refereeing for the last team in 2022. He will then be a free agent. Its representative, Scott Boras, has a long history of bringing clients to free agency to explore their markets.
The problem with Gallo is trying to figure out exactly what the market is. He has two seasons of 40 home runs and a golden glove on his resume. He was in the midst of what appeared to be a breakout season in 2019 before suffering from oblique tension. Shortly after his return, he suffered a broken wrist. Since then: His inbound slash on Saturday was .196 / .333 / .381 / .714. He’s had 18 home runs and 49 RBIs in 107 games.
He started second to the AL on Saturday in walks, but first in strikeouts in 2021. He was second to the AL in strikeout percentage (34.3% of his appearances at plate) and fifth in percentage swing-and-miss (17.8).
This makes it difficult to assess both its total value to the team and its business value. But that won’t stop the commercial gossip. At least he’s used to taking care of it now.
Briefly: It’s been a tough week for Double-A Frisco’s pitching team, which leads the league formerly known as the Texas League, in ERA (2.64). RHP Tyler Phillips left his start with a stiff elbow and RHP Yerry Rodriguez left his start on Friday after being hit by a line workout. Luckily for the Rangers, it doesn’t look like the injuries are serious. Phillips will take a week off; The x-rays showed no fracture of Rodriguez’s wrist. … Rangers pre- and post-game analyst Mark McLemore threw the first pitch on Saturday. McLemore played for Seattle from 2000 to 2003 and was a key member of the 2001 Mariners team which won 116 games. The Mariners celebrate the 20th anniversary of this season all year round.
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