Yankees interested in Andrew Benintendi, David Peralta

5:18 p.m.: The Yankees also spotted the Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes, with Nightengale describing Peralta as a “fallback option” if Benintendi is not acquired. Peralta is also a postseason free agent and is hitting .245/.312/.460 with 11 homers through 263 AP.

9:13 a.m.: The Yankees and Royals recently had discussions over a trade that would send the outfielder André Benintendi in the Bronx, according to a report by Jon Heyman and Dan Martin of the New York Post. They add that the Yanks are simultaneously trying to come up with a separate trade that would send the outfielder Joey Gallo outside the city.

Benintendi is one of the most obvious trade candidates, and it’s not the first time his name has appeared in rumours. Since he’s having a good year on an uncompetitive team and is set to reach free agency at the end of the season, everything seems to be lining up for a deal by the 2nd deadline. august. As such, MLBTR recently placed him number two on our list of trade candidates. In June, it was reported that the Royals were actively looking for a buyer for the outfielder, with the Blue Jays expressing interest.

The Yankees have been baseball’s best team this year and are therefore the most obvious buyers. As a team with a 61-24 record, they don’t have many holes, but one area they seem worth improving is the outfield, by trading Benintendi or another deadline acquisition for Gallo. Reports earlier this month indicated that the Yankees were looking to upgrade Gallo in some way.

That Gallo was a disappointment in the Bronx is well known to Yankee fans, as his production has plummeted since leaving Rangers in a deal last year. Prior to the deal, Gallo was well established as one of baseball’s most fearsome hitters. In the four full seasons from 2017 to 2021, Gallo hit 38 or more homers in three of them. In 2019, he was limited to 70 games but still hit 22 long balls. His wRC+ was between 108 and 144 in each of those four seasons, indicating that he was between 8% and 44% above the league average. 2020 was a disappointing campaign, but under the odd circumstances of the pandemic season, and he appeared to bounce back in 2021. During his stint with the Rangers last year, he hit 25 home runs in 95 games and reduced .233 /.379 /.490 for a wRC+ of 139. After the deal, however, he only reached .160/.303/.404, 95 wRC+. That continued this season, as he hit .166/.288/.341 on the year, producing a wRC+ of just 84. After almost a year of below average production, it looks like the Yanks are ready to move on. MLBTR placed Gallo 39th on the aforementioned list of trade candidates.

Benintendi is having a much better season than Gallo, but in a very different style. Unlike Gallo’s top-tier, high-level approach, Benintendi would bring a more contact-oriented profile. His strikeout rate of 14.2% is well below the league average of 22.2% and well below the 38.3% rate Gallo has on the year. However, he has only hit three home runs this season, compared to Gallo’s ten. In total, Benintendi slashes .317/.387/.402 for a wRC+ of 128, a significant improvement over Gallo’s 84.

In terms of salary, swapping Benintendi for Gallo wouldn’t make a huge difference for the Yanks. Both players are pending free agents, with Benintendi earning $8.5 million and Gallo earning $10.275 million. Jason Martinez of Roster Resource calculates the Yankees’ CBT number at $262 million at the moment, putting them past the second threshold of $250 million but below the third threshold of $270 million.

The Royals will have no interest in Gallo, of course. As a rebuilding team currently sporting a 31-52 record, they will be looking for long-term assets, either prospects or perhaps players who have recently reached the majors. That leaves the Yankees to figure out who wants to shoot Gallo and hope for a rebound. If a team wanted to convince themselves that Gallo needed to turn around, maybe they could look at their HR/FB rate. It’s 17.5% this year, well below his career rate of 27% and his single-season career high of 37.3% in 2019. However, his Statcast page is a real mixed bag, with Gallo still able to hit the ball very hard, although not with sufficient frequency. Its maximum exit speed is in the 90th percentile, but its average exit speed is just in the 40th. Any team that acquires it should hope for a little more consistency, with that average exit speed dropping from this year’s 88.6mph to the 93-95mph range of its best seasons.

Heyman and Martin’s report suggests the Yankees’ best bet would be teams led by his former bosses in Texas. There’s the Rangers themselves, who are less than four games away from a playoff berth and might consider making some purchases. Seeing them leave after a lease like Gallo would be surprising, as this is the first year of what the club hopes will be a multi-year competitive window. Players with a bit more control would be more obvious fits, though the Yankees may be motivated enough to leave Gallo to package him with someone else or eat some of his salary. In the short term, there is certainly room for Gallo, given the club’s composition. The Rangers featured an outfield mix of Adolis Garcia, Kole Calhoun, Brad Miller and Leodye Taveras in the last days. Miller is having an even worse year than Gallo, slashing .210/.261/.347 for a wRC+ of 73. The club also featured Mitch Garver designated hitter most of the time, but he’s going to have season-ending surgery tomorrow.

There are also the Padres, whose president of baseball operations AJ Preller was in the Rangers front office when Gallo was drafted. They sought help in the field for some time and were dogged by injuries to Wil Myers and Jurickson Profar. Nomar Mazara stepped up and filled a spot admirably, but they still get below average production from Trent Grisham and Jose Azocar. Myers is nearing a comeback but was having a dismal campaign before landing on the injured list, meaning there’s no guarantee he’ll fix things once he’s healthy. Despite these struggles on the pitch, the club are 49-37 and are currently in possession of an NL Wild Card spot, making them clear buyers on schedule.

There’s also the financial situation to consider with the Padres, as they face the luxury tax and seem reluctant to cross it for a second straight year. Jason Martinez of Roster Resource calculates their CBT number to be $228.9, just below the first threshold of $230 million. They tried to trade Myers and Eric Hosmer get rid of some salary for some time but no success so far. They also reportedly considered trading a starting pitcher for the same reasons, with Blake Snell stand out as perhaps the most viable option. MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently reviewed the situation in detail. It would be a surprise for the Padres to create this breathing room and then use it on a dice roll like Gallo as opposed to someone who is currently successful. Although Preller has shown a tendency to acquire former Rangers like Profar, Mazara and Yu Darvishmeaning it can’t be completely ignored.

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