Gallo on rumors, future: 'I want to win here'
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo said he was surprised when his name came up in trade talks leading up to the Aug. 31 Deadline and admitted to being nervous the night before.
Ultimately, Texas did not trade him, and Gallo was glad that was the case. In speaking with the media on Tuesday for the first time since the Deadline, Gallo said he wants to be with the Rangers and is open to a contract extension that would keep him here after the 2022 season, when he becomes eligible for free agency.
“I understand right now we're at a stage where we're not competing,” Gallo said. “I get that. But for me, I love being a Texas Ranger -- I was drafted as a Texas Ranger. I've always seen myself playing here for a long, long time. So when those trade rumors came up, that's why I was a little nervous, like, 'Damn, this is not the way I saw things going.'"
The Rangers have a history of signing their young players to long-term deals. Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor are two obvious examples. They have yet to make any tangible progress toward doing anything with Gallo.
The 26-year-old is represented by agent Scott Boras, who has a history of taking top free agents into the market and landing them the best possible deal regardless of location. But he also negotiated the eight-year extension for Elvis Andrus that runs through 2022.
Gallo said he went to bed on Aug. 30 wondering if he was going to be traded the next day.
“It was tough for me,” he said. “It was sad because I love this organization and I want to win here, and I love playing here. So, it was a long night for sure, and I'm glad I didn't [get traded] because I think there's a lot of work we can do here. I want to win as a Texas Ranger.”
The uncertainty about Gallo’s future is why his name came up in trade talks. But sources and reports suggested the Rangers put a high price on both Gallo and pitcher Lance Lynn, ultimately holding on to both. When the Deadline had passed, Gallo spoke with general manager Jon Daniels.
Gallo said he told Daniels, “Hey I hope you guys don't think that I don't want to be here. I love playing for Texas and I want to be here, and I want to help you guys win the future.”
Gallo said there were no hard feelings, but all those trade discussions could easily be revived in the winter. The Rangers must decide if they can put together a contending team in the next two years or if they are better off trading Gallo for long-term help as part of another rebuilding process.
One issue is that Gallo hasn’t exactly pushed his trade value to a high level this season. He entered Tuesday’s series opener against the Angels hitting .183 with eight home runs, 20 RBIs and a .413 slugging percentage across 38 games this season.
Choo on hold
Shin-Soo Choo was out of the lineup on Tuesday with a sprained right wrist, and the Rangers aren’t sure when he’ll return to the lineup. There is a possibility he could end up on the injured list.
“He came in pretty sore today," manager Chris Woodward said. “No breaks in the wrist, which is great. The severity of the sprain, we have to find out how bad it is. We can only know every day how sore it is. If he has a really hard time squeezing or holding a bat, we’ll have to look at some options.”
• Outfielder Willie Calhoun, on the injured list with a strained left hamstring, is going to start running the bases on Wednesday, with the hope of being activated this weekend or early next week.
• Rangers outfielder Leody Taveras turned 22 on Tuesday.
• Texas' No. 3 hitters this season entered Tuesday’s game hitting a combined .143 with a .432 OPS and, Woodward said, “It's definitely been a little bit of a hole for us. And that's a spot you expect to be your most productive. So it is frustrating, because it hurts us in the middle of the lineup. I don't care who it is, to be honest with you. As far as next year, we're going to have to look at it.”