For his part, Gallo will become arbitration-eligible after the 2019 season, and is under control through 2022. That makes him an attractive asset to teams pursuing outfield help, especially considering his strength. The former top ten prospect enjoyed a breakout campaign last season, smacking 41 dingers to go along with a 14.1% walk rate en route to a 3-fWAR season. That comes with a well-known Achilles heel, however, as Gallo’s gargantuan 36.8% strikeout rate severely limited his production ceiling. In addition, more than half his batted balls were of the fly ball variety and his penchant for pulling the ball half the time as well makes him easily shiftable; those two factors put a stranglehold on his BABIP, which ended 2017 at .250. All told, this profile resulted in him barely hitting above the Mendoza line (.205 AVG), and the issues have become even more pronounced in 2018.
That said, however, Fangraphs still pegs Gallo as a 1.3 WAR outfielder, meaning he’s about league average in terms of position player value. He’s also quite young at just 24 years of age, giving him plenty of time to iron out his issues and/or improve upon his power ceiling. As such, it’s no surprise that the Rangers are torn about whether or not to deal their 2012 supplemental first round draft selection. On the one hand, he’s perhaps the club’s best chance to reap a significant prospect return as they embark on what promises to be a fairly arduous rebuild. On the other hand, though, it might not be the right time to deal the power prodigy, as his value is depressed due to an average follow-up to his breakout campaign. There’s at least a fairly good chance that Gallo will improve upon the .190/.306/.458 batting line and 102 wRC+ he’s posted so far this season, and if he does, he might net a better trade package in the future than he would now.
The Indians have perhaps the bleakest outfield outlook of any contending team. Outside of Michael Brantley, who’s been producing at close to his vintage levels after missing most of the past two seasons due to shoulder and ankle injuries, the Tribe’s situation in right and center field has taken a disastrous turn. Opening Day center fielder Bradley Zimmer’s out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, their best right field option Lonnie Chisenhall’s out until September with another calf issue, and even Tyler Naquin has recently joined the injury report with a hip issue that could keep him out awhile. That leaves the Indians trying to piece together an outfield puzzle with pieces like Melky Cabrera, Rajai Davis, Brandon Guyer and Greg Allen, none of whom have been particularly inspiring this season. It’s understandable that the Indians would be checking in on each and every outfield option available.
Meanwhile, the fit for Gallo in Philadelphia is less clear. Rhys Hoskins continues to be a revelation and will be firmly cemented in left field for years to come, while Odubel Herrera’s got a similar stranglehold on the center field job. Gallo could push Nick Williams into a fourth outfield role, which is probably the most likely scenario, but it’s not as though Williams has been bad- he’s hit .257/.331/.457 as a member of the Phillies this season and has been only slightly worse defensively than Gallo. It’s worth noting that Gallo came up through the Rangers’ system as a third baseman and incumbent Maikel Franco looked to be close to losing his job earlier this season, but he’s done more than enough to keep the keys to the hot corner with his recent performance; since the start of June, Franco’s hit .285/.333/.533 with nine homers and a meager 11.6% strikeout rate.
It remains to be seen what other teams have inquired on Gallo, though it seems possible the Yankees could potentially be interested following a serious injury to Aaron Judge. The Red Sox and Astros are known to be looking for outfield pieces as well, though they’re far more likely to invest in players with a lower price tag.