With Deadline looming, Gallo wants to stay

Slugger stars Tuesday vs. D-backs with 3-run HR, two OF assists

July 28th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- has deleted all social media and avoids reading too many articles about himself. Regardless, it’s hard for him to avoid the rumors swirling as the Trade Deadline looms. He tries not to dwell on any speculation, despite how real of a possibility it is that he will be dealt.

“What makes it tough is like everywhere I go, someone mentions it,” Gallo explained prior to the Rangers' 5-4 win against the D-backs at Globe Life Field. “I'm driving to the field today, I stopped [at the gate] and the guy mentioned it. The chiropractor that I went to, he mentioned it. The guy who makes my suits mentioned it. It's hard to forget when everybody mentions it. It's really not that tough. I’ve been through it before. I just wake up every day and check my phone and see what team I'm playing for that day. Hopefully it’s the Texas Rangers.”

But regardless of what happens by 3 p.m. CT on June 30, Gallo is making his presence felt in a Rangers uniform until then. The slugger starred against the D-backs at the plate and in the field.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Gallo crushed his first homer since returning from the All-Star break, a three-run, 443-foot tiebreaking bomb that gave the Rangers a lead they never relinquished.

Though his production at the plate has been less than usual -- even with the home run on Tuesday -- Gallo is still a major contributor in the field. He currently is tied for tops in the Majors with six outs above average as a right fielder.

Just three days before the Deadline, Gallo again made his Gold Glove prowess known in the first inning against the D-backs. Kole Calhoun led off the game with a line drive to the right-field wall. Calhoun unwisely attempted to take second, when Gallo threw him out sliding into second base.

He added his second outfield assist of the game in the top of the fourth inning, when David Peralta hit a sacrifice fly to Gallo in right field. While Christian Walker scored from third, Gallo came up firing to third base where Asdrúbal Cabrera got caught in a rundown between second and third for the third out of the inning.

This was Gallo’s third career multi-assist game. He has six overall assists in his last 10 games.

“I take a lot of pride in [my defense],” Gallo said. “I would consider myself as a defensive-first player quite honestly. Just number-wise like, I’m higher up there than I am hitting. I can hit homers and whatnot but I take pride in being able to change the game defensively.”

Rangers manager Chris Woodward said that Gallo has a “killer instinct” in the outfield. He’s composed and always knows what to do and where to go with the ball. 

“In his mind, nobody's ever advancing on the bases,” Woodward said. “He's very aware of where runners are. He attacks the baseball. If you're going to teach a guy how to play outfield, especially a corner outfield spot, you should have them watch video of Joey Gallo. He's a man on a mission. That's what separates him from everybody else.”

Gallo’s plans for the weekend are simple: “To play baseball for the Texas Rangers here.” The club is giving out his Gold Glove bobblehead on Saturday, which is one of his favorites. He’s even leaving tickets for people at Globe Life Field for the weekend series. He’s assuming he’ll still be in Arlington come Friday night against the Mariners.

Gallo’s name has been floated in connection with several contending teams, including the Yankees, Padres and Blue Jays. And while he still expects to be a Ranger come Friday night, he still took the opportunity to thank fans in a postgame interview on Bally Sports Southwest. 

“I remember last year when I almost got traded, I was thinking, ‘Man, I wish I would have said something.’ [Sideline reporter Emily Jones McCoy] asked me about the trade stuff and I just answered the question how I felt. I didn't want to miss an opportunity to say thank you."

The common perception is that one of two things has to happen with Gallo by the Deadline: a contract extension or a trade. But with a year and a half left on his contract, he thinks a third option should be explored: nothing happens.

Gallo is no stranger to trade speculation. His name has been floated in the past at the Deadline, especially in 2020, but he’s always ended up back in Texas.

“I don't understand the whole ‘I have to be traded, I have to be extended’ thing,” Gallo said. “I have a whole ‘nother year and a half on my contract. It’s not a Trevor Story situation where he’s got two months left. We can talk about a contract for another year. I don’t really understand. I get there's a certain pressure and time that people are trying to deal with, but I'm still under contract here for a year and a half. I think this is highly likely that like nothing happens and like last year, we just revisit these things in a few months.”

And while he didn’t want to get too deep into money talks and negotiations, he explained that he hopes the two parties can find a common ground if and when it comes time for an extension.

“As a player, you understand your value too,” Gallo said. “You understand that I don't really get many shots to make money in this game. I want to be valued as well.”

More specifically, he wants to be valued by the Rangers. Gallo is currently the longest tenured player on the 40-man roster and Texas is the only organization he’s been a part of since getting selected in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

Almost every time the situation is brought up to Gallo, he says the same thing: “I’m a Texas Ranger until they tell me I’m not.”

“It's hard to envision myself being something else, it's almost scary,” Gallo said. “I like being a Texas Ranger. I'm just comfortable here. I like being here. And I really freaking care about the fans. I want to win here for the fans. I don't want to be on another team and then four or five years down the road, see them winning and I'm like, ‘Damn I wish I was there to celebrate that with them’ because we worked so hard to get to this point. I don’t know. I care about Texas. I care about the Rangers and the organization. So I just would like to be here. It’s obviously still a business though and that's the tough part.”