The twins will sign Joey Gallo on a one-year contract

The twins will sign Joey Gallo on a one-year contract

The Twins agree with the outfielder Joey Gallo on a one-year deal that will earn him $11 million.

Gallo, 29, has been one of the toughest punchers in the league at times, but he’s coming off a rough patch. With the Rangers from 2017 to 2019, he was the poster of the three real results: home run, strikeout and walk. During that three-year span, he struck out 36.8% of his plate appearances while league averages at that time hovered around 22%. His walk rate of 14.3% was well above the league average of 8.5% at that time. He also threw 103 homers on that stretch, leading to a .217/.336/.533 batting line. Despite the huge punch-out totals, this production was 20% above the league average, as evidenced by his 120 wRC+.

The seasons since have not been so smooth, however. In the shortened 2020 season, Gallo hit .181/.301/.378 for a wRC+ of 86. He seemed to bounce back in the first half of 2021, when he sat on a .223/.379/ .490 for a wRC+ of 138 when the Rangers traded him to the Yankees. Unfortunately, he faded in the Bronx, hitting .160/.303/.404 after the deal, 95 wRC+. He couldn’t quite correct his trajectory this year, as his first 82 games led to a .159/.282/.339 line and 82 wRC+ before the Yanks turned him against the Dodgers on the date. limit. The move to Hollywood didn’t change much, as he hit .162/.277/.393 as a Dodger for a wRC+ of 91.

While those under-Mendoza batting averages are certainly unappealing to the eye, there’s plenty of reason to think he could get the ball rolling again. For one thing, he’s still young, having just turned 29 last month. He also still hits the ball snot, as his hard shot percentage was in the 94th percentile in 2022, his barrel rate in the 98th, and his max out velocity 89th. The upcoming rules banning defensive changes should also help him, as he beats on the left side. According to Statcast, Gallo is staggered in 90% of his plate appearances, one of the 20 highest rates in the league.

Even though he can’t rebound at home plate, he can still be a valuable player due to his strong defense. He received a positive rating in the outfield by Defensive Runs Saved in every season of his career, while Ultimate Zone Rating and Outs Above Average only gave him a negative number in 2022. For his outfield work in his together he has 43 DRS, 19 UZR and 7 OAA. Even though his bat was below par all year in 2022, he was still worth 0.6 wins over substitution, in the eyes of FanGraphs. In 2021, when he was good at plate with Texas but bad with the Yanks, he was worth 4.2 fWAR.

For the Twins, Gallo should slot into one of the corners of the outfield, with Byron Buxton In the center. It only adds to a congested outfield mix, as the club have plenty of options on their roster. It was reported last week that the club were interested in trading Max Kepleras they also have Trevor Larnach, Alex Kiriloff, Kyle Garlic, Gilberto Celestino, Royce Lewis, Nick Gordon, Matt Waller and Marc Contreras in their outfield mix. Some of these players can also play on the court, but it’s a pretty crowded dance floor. With Gallo now added to the mix, that would seem to make a trade for Kepler or someone else more likely.

The Twins should still have pay space available as most of their offseason has been focused on chasing Carlos Correa. The club reportedly made him an offer of $285 million over 10 years, or $28.5 million per season, although he instead signed with the Giants for $350 million over 13 years. The Twins have now given Gallo $11 million instead, taking the risk that he could regain some of his previous form in a new environment. The move brings the club’s payroll to $118 million, per roster resource. The club’s franchise record for an opening day payroll was the $134 million figure they exhausted in 2022, according to Cot’s baseball contracts. Assuming they’re willing to spend at similar levels this year, they still have around $16 million to work with, though Kepler has an $8.5 million salary in 2023 as well as a $1 million buyout. dollars on a $10 million club option. Moving it could create additional pay space unless they also take a salary in the trade.

Despite landing a star like Correa unexpectedly for 2022, the Twins disappointed finishing 78-84, 14 games behind the Guardians in American League Central. They will now have to try to figure out how to be better without Correa in 2023. Better health would be one way, as they suffered an incredible number of injuries in 2022. Another way could be to reallocate his $35.1m salary to several players and hope for added value, of which Gallo is now a part.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post first reported that Gallo and the Twins had agreed to $11 million. ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported the one-year deal.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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