After falling short of the trading deadline’s biggest prize in Juan Soto, the Dodgers on Tuesday decided to take a flier to add depth to their lineup.
The team is in agreement on a trade to acquire Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees pending a physical, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The Dodgers are reportedly sending pitching prospect Clayton Beeter back in the deal, which was first reported by FanNation.
Gallo, 28, is a two-time All-Star who at times has been one of the most prolific left-handed sluggers in the game, with 170 career home runs.
He has struggled, however, since joining the Yankees from the Texas Rangers at last year’s deadline. In 82 games this season, he is batting just .159 and has a .621 on-base-plus-slugging percentage with 12 home runs and 24 RBIs. He has 106 strikeouts in 273 plate appearances.
Still, the Dodgers are hoping Gallo can give their lineup a boost, acquiring the pending free agent in a relatively low-cost move in which they will only give up Beeter, the club’s No. 15-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline who has a 5.75 ERA in 18 games at double A this season.
Gallo won’t be the only slumping left-handed hitter on the Dodgers’ roster. The team has been waiting for third baseman Max Muncy and center fielder Cody Bellinger to rediscover their old form amid season-long struggles.
Despite that, the Dodgers still rank first in the majors as a team in OPS, second in runs, third in batting average and fifth in home runs.
While it seems unlikely Gallo would become an everyday player for the Dodgers — especially with a .102 batting average and .390 OPS against left-handed pitching this year — he does give them more depth at a time when they are dealing with injuries to Chris Taylor and Justin Turner, and could perhaps be an option for a platoon role in left field or at designated hitter.
During his first seven seasons with the Rangers, Gallo posted consistent production — albeit in an unusual manner. His high home run and walk rates, as well as two-time Gold Glove-winning defense, helped balance out his mammoth strikeout totals and lack of consistent contact.
With the Yankees, however, he never clicked.
In 58 games following last year’s trade, Gallo hit .160 with 13 home runs. And as his struggles continued this season, it became increasingly clear the Yankees, who effectively traded for his replacement in Andrew Benintendi last week, would look to ship him out before Tuesday’s deadline.
Hours before the 3 p.m. PDT cutoff time, they found a willing partner in the Dodgers, who hope Gallo can rediscover potential that never materialized during his tenure in New York.