What lineup additions might the Dodgers make to address some of the struggling high-strikeout power hitters currently in the lineup? Why, Joey Gallo of course, dealt by the Yankees to Los Angeles in exchange for Double-A pitcher Clayton Beeter, the teams announced Tuesday.
Pat Ragazzo of Fan Nation was first to report the trade agreement, which has been confirmed by various others, including Juan Toribio of MLB.com, Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times, and Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Gallo is hitting .159/.282/.339, an 82 wRC+ with 12 home runs while playing corner outfield spots for New York. He was the odd man out in the Yankees outfield, after Andrew Benintendi was acquired over the weekend.
Among the 227 major league hitters with at least 250 plate appearances, Joey Gallo’s .159 batting average ranks 227th. Max Muncy, at .162, is 226th.
Gallo’s 38.8-percent strikeout rate is the highest in MLB, but strikeouts have always been a part of his game. The Dodgers, in a similar situation to Muncy and Cody Bellinger, are likely betting on Gallo regaining some of the form that saw him hit 151 home runs over 573 games from 2017-21, with a 117 wRC+.
Gallo talked with Lindsey Adler at The Athletic about his disappointing tenure in New York over the weekend:
“When I see my numbers, I feel like I’ve played better than that,” Gallo said. “There are a couple of things mechanically that I think I could have been better about monitoring. Baseball is a weird game. You can be doing something slightly wrong, and in baseball you just start doing it every day, and it starts to become a habit you don’t notice. I just feel like something here got out of rhythm, out of whack.”
Gallo adds another bat to the pile down the stretch, with Edwin Ríos and Chris Taylor also likely to return within a few weeks.
Gallo, who is a free agent at the end of the season, is making $10.275 million this season, which leaves about $3.6 million for the rest of 2022.
Beeter was drafted by the Dodgers in the second round in 2020 out of Texas Tech. The 23-year-old has a 5.75 ERA this year with Double-A Tulsa, with a 36-percent strikeout rate but also a 14.3-percent walk rate and 10 home runs allowed in 51⅔ innings.