The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Joey Gallo on Wednesday, one day after acquiring him from the New York Yankees in exchange for pitching prospect Clayton Beeter.
With the Yankees, Gallo went from being one of the top players traded at the 2021 deadline to batting .159/.282/.339 with four doubles, 12 home runs, 82 wRC+ and an MLB-worst 39% strikeout rate this season.
After New York acquired Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals, the writing was on the wall for they would move on from Gallo, and the Dodgers were there to buy low on the talented outfielder.
After the trade, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expressed a belief in the two-time All-Star’s ability and thinks the club’s hitting coaches can help him find his 40-homer swing again.
For Gallo, it represents a change of scenery that was desperately needed and he is happy to get that opportunity on a Dodgers team he is familiar with, via SportsNet LA:
“This is an organization I watched a lot growing up. From Las Vegas, so it was a pretty quick little drive to L.A. to watch the Dodgers, and I watched them on TV and whatnot. I know a lot of the guys, so that’s exciting. And it’s obviously a first-class organization that anybody would be happy to play for, so I’m very excited to be here and just help the team win any way I can.”
It’ll be up to hitting coaches Robert Van Scoyoc and Brant Brown, along with the rest of the Dodgers coaches to help Gallo get back to his productive. And although they’ve only been around him for a day, they have already helped give Gallo some much needed encouragement:
“They’ve been outstanding. Telling me to just be myself and go play, be an athlete and help the team win. That’s exciting to hear, just to be yourself and that will be enough. I had a 30-minute conversation with Dave already. Just an awesome manager. You can tell he really cares about his guys. That’s really important, to care about the player but also the person as well. It’s exciting to see that.”
In his career, Gallo has 170 home runs with an .801 on-base plus slugging percentage, 15% walk rate and 111 wRC+ while winning two Gold Glove Awards as one of the game’s top defensive outfielders. When Gallo is at his best, he is one of the most feared power hitters in the game.
While it’s no guarantee he gets back to that point, Gallo is still just 28 years old and hasn’t suffered any major injury that could be affecting his talent, which gives the Dodgers confidence he can return to form.
Gallo trade completed after Dodgers made ‘solid effort’ for Juan Soto
The Dodgers had a busy trade deadline as they made five deals overall, but they fell short of acquiring Juan Soto, who did wind up in National League West, but with the San Diego Padres.
Although the Dodgers weren’t able to finalize a deal, they did make an earnest push to complete a Soto trade. In return for Soto and Bell, the Nationals received MacKenzie Gore and Luke Voit from the Padres’ Major League roster, and multiple top prospects, including C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, James Wood and Jarlin Susana.
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