Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
During the 2021 season, Joey Gallo was cementing himself as a star on the Texas Rangers, which made him one of the most sought-after players during the trade deadline. Along with Joely Rodríguez and cash considerations, Gallo was traded to the New York Yankees for Trevor Hauver, Ezequiel Duran, Glenn Otto and Josh Smith.
However, he struggled to replicate that success following the trade and went into 2022 looking to rebound. But Gallo never found his footing in New York, and fans began to turn on him. By July, he was once again on the trading block, just one year after being a prize of the deadline.
The Los Angeles Dodgers took a chance on his upside and acquired Gallo for pitching prospect Clayton Beeter before the 2022 trade deadline.
At the time of the deal, Gallo was batting .159/.282/.339 with four doubles, 12 home runs, an 82 wRC+ and MLB-worst 39% strikeout rate. Still, the Dodgers believed in what he could do.
“A year ago he was worth a lot in the industry and got traded for a lot. The true talent level remains,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said of Gallo at the time. “We feel like getting him here, getting him with our guys, that there’s a real compelling upside story.”
After a slow start with L.A., Gallo started to show some progress and provided the team with optimism while looking like one of their three best outfielders, along with Trayce Thompson and Mookie Betts.
In his first 24 games with the Dodgers, the 28-year-old hit .203/.311/.469 with four home runs and a 122 wRC+, which was more in-line with his All-Star-level production. Gallo was feeling comfortable and thriving in L.A. But that success was short-lived.
He finished the season batting .162/.277/.393 with four doubles, one triple, seven home runs and a 94 wRC+ over 44 games with the Dodgers. Overall on the season, he hit .160/.280/.357 with 19 home runs and an 85 wRC+.
Despite his struggles, Gallo was still named to the Dodgers’ postseason roster. “Joey’s a threat. Every time he gets in there he can hit a homer. He prepares, he works hard, he cares,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“I think for me, it’s trying to find the right spots where it makes sense to get him in there. He’s going to be on the playoff roster. How we deploy him, I just don’t know yet.”
Although he made the playoff roster, Gallo did not appear in any of the Dodgers’ four postseason games in the National League Division Series before they were eliminated by the San Diego Padres.
Joey Gallo’s 2022 highlight
On Aug. 10, Gallo pinch-hit and belted his first home run with the Dodgers, a three-run blast to the opposite field that gave L.A. an 8-4 lead over the Minnesota Twins.
Gallo enters the 2023 season as a member of the Twins after signing a one-year contract with them. The two-time All-Star is looking to get back on track with an everyday role and re-establish his value before he once again enters the free agent market.
Although he is only a career .199 hitter, the lefty-slugger has mashed 177 home runs, including 38 each season he has played at least 145 games, to go along with a .325 on-base percentage and a .469 slugging. In addition, he has also won two Gold Glove Awards in the outfield.
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