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Gallo, Santana, Montero agree to 1-year deals

@Sullivan_Ranger
January 10, 2020

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have reached an agreement with all three of their players who were eligible for salary arbitration. Outfielder Joey Gallo settled at $4.4 million, Danny Santana at $3.6 million and reliever Rafael Montero at $785,000. The agreements were reached before Friday's noon CT deadline for players and

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have reached an agreement with all three of their players who were eligible for salary arbitration.

Outfielder Joey Gallo settled at $4.4 million, Danny Santana at $3.6 million and reliever Rafael Montero at $785,000. The agreements were reached before Friday's noon CT deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures.

The Rangers have not had an arbitration hearing with a player since Lee Stevens in 2000.

Gallo, in his first year of arbitration, receives a significant increase over his $605,000 salary from 2019. The increase comes after he hit .253 with 22 home runs, 49 RBIs and a .598 slugging percentage over 70 games.

Gallo was selected to the American League All-Star team for the first time in his career, then hit a seventh-inning home run off reliever Will Smith to give the AL its final run in a 4-3 victory.

Gallo still missed most of the final four months because of a strained left oblique muscle and surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He has been working out this offseason and should be ready for Spring Training. The slugger is expected to be the Rangers' full-time right fielder.

“I have been feeling really good, swing feels great,” Gallo said Thursday night. “Swinging 100 percent, swing feels great, the body feels great. I’m definitely excited to get back on the field and in the new stadium.”

Santana made $545,000 last season after being signed as a free agent and coming to Spring Training on a Minor League contract. He ended up being the club's Player of the Year after hitting .283 with 28 home runs, 81 RBIs and a .534 slugging percentage in 130 games.

Santana played seven different positions as a utility player, but is expected to be the Rangers' starting center fielder in 2020. The job became his after Delino DeShields was traded to the Indians in a trade for pitcher Corey Kluber.

Montero was another shrewd free agent signing by the Rangers last winter. He missed all of 2018 with the Mets while recovering from Tommy John surgery, then was signed by the Rangers as a free agent last offseason.

Montero opened the season in the Minor Leagues and did not appear in a game until June 17. He ended up pitching in 22 games for the Rangers, finishing 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. The righty averaged 10.6 strikeouts, 7.1 hits and 1.6 walks per nine innings.

Montero goes into Spring Training as the Rangers' primary setup man ahead of closer Jose Leclerc.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.