Aaron Boone gushed about the Yankees’ latest big-name signing, and the manager was quick to point out that Joey Gallo will be a cure for his team’s lack of athleticism rather than a promoter of it.
Before the Yankees finished their series with the Rays at Tropicana Field, Boone said of Gallo and lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez, “We’re incredibly excited to have two players that we feel like will really help us.” “Obviously, Joey Gallo is the talk of the town, and I’m thrilled he’ll be joining us. This is clearly a fantastic player.
“Hopefully people are talking about what a tremendous all-around player we’re getting. A really good athlete. A guy that runs the bases, has some speed. That’s a really good defender in the outfield. And obviously the tremendous patience, the power that he has.”
Gallo and Rodriguez are expected to join the Yankees in Miami for the start of the series against the Marlins on Friday night. They were acquired in exchange for minor leaguers Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver, Glenn Otto, and Josh Smith, as well as their full salaries paid by the Rangers. The trade was announced shortly after midnight on Thursday by the Yankees.
Although Boone and Gallo spoke briefly on Wednesday night, the manager stated that he wanted to speak with Gallo in greater depth before committing to his role. Nonetheless, Boone acknowledged that Gallo would be a better fit as an everyday left fielder, speculating that Gallo could bat as high as second in the lineup.
Regarding Gallo’s “three true outcomes” approach to hitting — he leads the American League with 74 walks, is second with 125 strikeouts, and is tied for fifth with Seattle’s Mitch Haniger with 25 homers – Boone downplayed those concerns, saying, “I’m not concerned that we’re adding a guy that gets on (base) 38 percent of the time this year (he has a .379 on-base percentage) and hits the ball over the fence.”
The move complicates the Yankees’ long-discussed plans to give designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton some outfield time this weekend, though Boone said Stanton could still play the field under National League rules against the Marlins.
The 29-year-old Rodriguez, who has a 5.93 ERA this season while limiting left-handed batters to. “A lot of our left-handed pitchers are guys who in some cases are better at getting righties out,” Boone said of his 176/.282/.206 in 39 plate appearances. So this is a guy who has a lot of experience playing left on left. With us bringing in a guy like (Clay) Holmes, who has been a tough matchup for righties, he’s a tough matchup for lefties. Maybe these guys can help each other out a little and take advantage of some of the situations we can put them in.”
Asked whether he expected any more reinforcements by Friday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, Boone said, “Talking to Cash (Brian Cashman) this morning, they’re set up in the war room (in Tampa) already and I know still exploring things. I wouldn’t rule anything out. It always takes a couple of teams to tango and agree, but I know those conversations are continuing heavily as we speak.”