Joey Gallo
Andy Marlin | USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees sent hitless wonder Joey Gallo to the bench on Wednesday in Detroit. They might be trying to buy him a plane ticket next.

We have reached the point we always reach when the Yankees trade for a star from a smaller-market team and they cannot perform. The “he can’t handle New York” whispers have begun. Gallo is basically Sonny Gray with a ridiculous uppercut swing now.

From a newsy New York Post column by Jon Heyman:

Gallo is yet another big talent who may not fit New York. The Yankees talked to the Padres about a trade for Gallo this spring, but are believed to have been seeking a return befitting his ability, not his recent achievements.

Ultimately, a trade may work best.

β€œNew York is a challenge for him. It gets in his dome,” another scout said.

Gallo is batting .121 this season and is hitting just .154 as a Yankee since arriving from the Rangers last season. He is a plus defensive outfielder and has power when he actually makes contact, but that is a rare event. The guy has 103 strikeouts in 267 plate appearances as a Yankee, which is a 38.5% strikeout ratio. It’s not what you want.

It’s great the Yankees would want a return that fits Gallo’s past success — two All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves, three seasons with 38 or more home runs — but let’s be real here. The guy batted under .200 in 2020 and 2021, he’s under .200 again this year and he’s only batted over .209 once in his career. And he’s a free agent after this year. What exactly does general manager Brian Cashman think he’s going to get?

Honest question: Who would you rather have up in a big spot right now — Gallo or Brett Gardner? The answer is pretty obvious, no? Once the New York mental toughness bell gets rung, it does not get unrung. The Yankees likely need to find a return for Gallo they can accept pretty fast.


James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.