The slugging outfielder known for walks, home runs and strikeouts lived up to his advance billing — in a sense. A trade to Los Angeles may set him free.
The Yankees knew what they were getting with Joey Gallo.
All they had to do was imagine an outfielder nearly as large as Giancarlo Stanton who had the ability to play Gold Glove defense, was fairly good with the news media and had an approach at the plate that was eerily reminiscent of Rob Deer’s.
Walks, strikeouts and home runs are often called baseball’s three true outcomes, and with Gallo, they felt like the only possibilities. In that sense, he delivered on his promise.
Gallo’s final numbers over 140 games with the Yankees, ahead of a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which was announced Tuesday: A .159 batting average, 25 homers, 77 walks and 194 strikeouts.
The three true outcomes, so-called because they usually do not involve the defense beyond the pitcher and the catcher, added up to 59 percent of his plate appearances, outpacing his previous career mark with Texas of 58.2 percent. (For reference, Deer, who is often mentioned as the king of all-or-nothing sluggers, provided one of the three true outcomes in only 49.1 percent of his career plate appearances.)
Things got bad enough for Gallo last October that an article appeared to criticize him for the way he was getting dressed before games — a fact he addressed in a self-aware tweet.
Now Gallo, 28, will start over in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers have had a knack for finding uses for players who struggled elsewhere.
The Yankees acquired Gallo and Joely Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers last year for a package of three minor leaguers, all of whom are now in the majors. And he was sent to the Dodgers for Clayton Beeter, a Class AA right-hander with a 4.59 E.R.A. over the last two seasons. The difference in trade packages is a fairly stark indication of how far Gallo’s stock has fallen.
But for the Dodgers, the chance that they can shift the ratio of his three true outcomes into something more productive makes Gallo worth a flier. And maybe the Los Angeles news media will not be as concerned with how he gets dressed.