The New York Yankees enter play Thursday – they have a 1:10 p.m. ET start at Tampa Bay – with a 53-47 record and essentially zero chance of winning the AL East. The Yanks are 2.5 games out of the AL's second wild-card spot, and the SportsLine Projection Model is not bullish at all on the Bombers making the playoffs even after the addition of All-Star slugger Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Yankees at -135 to miss the playoffs and +115 to make it.
Gallo seems a typical Yankees addition in that he generally either homers, walks or strikes out just like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez do. The 27-year-old Gallo ranks sixth in the AL this season with 25 home runs, to go with 55 RBIs and a .223 average. Gallo averages a home run every 12.6 at-bats in his career, Judge 13.1 and Sanchez 13.7. The Yankees now have three of the top six players all-time in home run ratio (minimum 1,500 at-bats). The very short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium should suit Gallo well as of his 145 career home runs, 75 have gone to right field.
No question that Gallo was extra valuable to the Yankees because he hits left-handed, and New York lefties rank last in the majors in average (.197), 28th in home runs (22) and OPS (.633) and 29th in hard-hit rate (33%). Many nights, New York would start eight right-handed batters.
Gallo, who is under team control through next season, has become a good defender, too, as he won a Gold Glove in 2020 and leads the majors with 14 defensive runs saved this season. He likely will play left field most of the time but also can play right, center (in a pinch), first base and of course DH on days Giancarlo Stanton needs off.
The SportsLine Projection Model only increases New York's season win total from 87.0 to 87.5 with Gallo – and 87.5 wins surely isn't going to be enough to earn the second wild-card spot after Tampa Bay added Nelson Cruz and Oakland added Starling Marte. To make the playoffs, the Yankees improved from 26.9 percent to 29.5 percent.
It's not expected that Gallo will make his debut Thursday afternoon at the Rays because the deal wasn't finalized until this morning, but maybe he gets there in time to pinch-hit. He isn't in the starting lineup.
There are still reports the Yankees could trade for Rockies shortstop Trevor Story by Friday's deadline. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Yankees "see room" for Story because they still have such a deep farm system after the Gallo deal. Story wouldn't cost near as much because he's a free-agent-to-be. The White Sox are also after Story to play second base.
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