Whether an MLB team is in buy or sell mode, a front office typically makes trades with the best of intentions. The buyers are trying to find a player who can put them over the edge in the short term. The sellers are hoping the return can help them with an upcoming competitive window. That’s what was on Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s mind when he sent four prospects to the Rangers for Joey Gallo.
But of course, the best-laid plans don’t always work out. Now a couple of years removed from that deal between New York and Texas, it’s fair to say the Rangers got the better end of it.
Gallo spent the equivalent of one full season in the Bronx (140 games, 501 plate appearances). It didn’t go as planned, as he slashed .159/.291/.368 before the Yankees waved the white flag on this experiment by trading him to the Dodgers.
The outfielder’s Yankees legacy could be salvaged thanks to the prospect New York received in return. Clayton Beeter is now in Triple-A after having a great start to 2023 with Double-A Somerset. That won’t stop Yankees fans from being frustrated every time they see Ezequiel Duran do something good for the Rangers.
And so far this season, it’s been often.
As a rookie in 2022, Duran posted a .643 OPS with five home runs and 25 RBI in 220 plate appearances. He’s taken a leap this year through 229 trips to the plate. The outfielder is hitting .326/.367/.567 with 12 homers and 34 RBI.
The Yankees have found some much-needed production in their short-handed outfield thanks to Billy McKinney and Jake Bauers. But, what would you rather have… one of those guys filling in while Aaron Judge is sidelined, or a 24-year-old with a lot of promise like Duran?
Yea, I’d take the latter, too. That’s the way the cookie crumbles with the trade market, though. Like I said at the top, you make these moves with the best of intentions and hope they work out. Unfortunately for the Yankees and Cashman, the Gallo trade didn’t work out. It’s also far from the only trade in recent years that hasn’t worked in New York’s favor.
This would sting anyway. But while we’ve watched the Yankees offense mostly struggle throughout June, it probably hurts a little more.