The Yankees and Royals have recently held talks around a trade that would send outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Bronx, according to a report from Jon Heyman and Dan Martin of the New York Post. They add that the Yanks are simultaneously trying to work out a separate trade that would send outfielder Joey Gallo out of town.
Benintendi is one of the more obvious trade candidates, and this isn’t the first time his name has popped up in rumors. Since he’s having a good year on a noncompetitive team and is set to reach free agency at season’s end, everything seems to be lining up for a deal between now and the August 2 deadline. As such, MLBTR recently placed him #2 on our list of trade candidates. Back in June, it was reported that the Royals were actively seeking a buyer for the outfielder, with the Blue Jays reportedly showing interest.
The Yankees have been the best team in baseball this year and are therefore the most obvious of deadline buyers. As a team with a 61-24 record, they don’t have many holes, but one area they seem to be interesting in improving is the outfield, by swapping in Benintendi or some other deadline acquisition for Gallo. Reports from earlier this month indicated the Yankees were looking to upgrade on Gallo in some way.
The fact that Gallo has been a disappointment in the Bronx is well-known to Yankee fans, as his production has cratered since coming over from the Rangers in a deal last year. Prior to the deal, Gallo was well-established as one of baseball’s most fearsome sluggers. In the four full season from 2017 to 2021, Gallo put up 38 home runs or more in three of them. In 2019, he was limited to 70 games but still hit 22 long balls. His wRC+ was between 108 and 144 in each of those four seasons, indicating he was between 8% and 44% better than league average. 2020 was a disappointing campaign but under the strange circumstances of the pandemic season, and he seemed to bounce right back in 2021. In his time with the Rangers last year, he hit 25 home runs in 95 games and was slashing .233/.379/.490 for a wRC+ of 139. After the deal, though, he hit just .160/.303/.404, 95 wRC+. That’s carried over into this season, as he’s hitting .166/.288/.341 on the year, producing a wRC+ of just 84. After almost a year of subpar production, it seems the Yanks are willing to move on. MLBTR placed Gallo at #39 on the aforementioned list of trade candidates.