All-Star slugger Gallo wants to stay in Texas at deadline
ARLINGTON — Joey Gallo has repeatedly said he wants to stay with the Texas Rangers. The All-Star slugger is also well aware that he could be traded in the next two weeks by the team that drafted him.
The still-rebuilding and last-place Rangers are certain to get inquiries from contending teams before the July 30 trade deadline about the big left-handed hitter and Gold Glove-winning right fielder just back from his second All-Star Game and first Home Run Derby appearance. All-Star right-hander Kyle Gibson, a veteran with one year left on his Texas deal after this, will also get plenty of interest.
"At the end of the day, in my head and my heart, I feel like I'll be a Ranger," Gallo said while in Denver this week. "It's all I've ever been my whole life, so I can't really think about ever not being a Texas Ranger. But at the end of the day, it's a business. If the team feels moving me might fit them better, then I understand that."
Among potential suitors for Gallo could be the righty-heavy New York Yankees or the San Diego Padres, whose general manager A.J. Preller was in the Rangers organization when they got Gallo with the 39th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
The Rangers could also opt to keep the 27-year-old Gallo, who has two 40-homer seasons in his career. The 6-foot-5 slugger is under team control through next season, eligible for salary arbitration again this winter, before possible free agency after the 2022 season.
First-year general manager Chris Young said a possible contract extension for Gallo is one of many scenarios the Rangers are considering.
Gallo, who is making $6.2 million this season, insisted he is not worrying about what he can't control. There will be a hefty pay raise coming, though the player whose agent is Scott Boras said last month any perception that he is seeking an "insane amount of money" is wrong.
Gallo is hitting .239 with 24 homers and 52 RBIs in 84 games this season. His MLB-leading 72 walks, 12 more than any any other player and not including the one he drew in his only All-Star at-bat his week, boost his on-base percentage to .402, fourth-best in the majors.
In his last 12 games before the All-Star break, Gallo had 11 homers and was the first Rangers player ever to go deep 10 times over a span of 10 games. He had homers of 462 and 450 feet in the same game.
The Rangers, 20 games under .500, resume play after the break against Toronto in Buffalo on Friday night. Gallo talked in Denver about them building toward the future with players like All-Star rookie center fielder Adolis Garcia and Gibson.
"I think we have a lot of really good pieces that we're kind of trying to see, 'Hey is this going to be part of our our new nucleus and part of our future?' And with guys like Adolis and Gibby and whatnot, it's awesome to see these guys kind of blossom," Gallo said. "And moving forward we'll be able to be a winning team and hopefully make the playoffs at some point. So I think it's just finishing the season strong."
But Gallo and Gibson (6-1, 2.29 ERA) could instead be finishing this season in a playoff chase with other teams.
Gibson, who pitched a scoreless inning in his first All-Star Game appearance, is scheduled to make his next start Monday night in Detroit. That means there would be only one more start after that before the trade deadline.
The Rangers last winter dealt Lance Lynn, now the AL ERA leader ahead of Gibson, to the Chicago White Sox when he had one year left on his contract. Texas had kept the workhorse starter and Gallo at the 2020 trade deadline. The 33-year-old Gibson is now in the same situation, making $10 million this season and with one year left for $7 million after this.