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Trade rumor: Philles reportedly ‘inquiring’ about Rangers slugger Joey Gallo

The Indians are also reportedly checking in on his availability.

Texas Rangers v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

We’re less than five days out from the non-waiver trade deadline and while there aren’t any major players who seem officially “on the market” right now that hasn’t kept teams from asking about availability of stars who are currently playing for teams at the bottom of the standings.

The rumor

One of those players is Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers slugger and — according to SportsDay’s Evan Grant — someone who is being asked about by at least two teams. The teams known to be inquiring are the Phillies and Indians, who have both made moves this deadline but could both stand to make one or two more to fix all of their current holes. For the purposes of this trade rumor, let’s focus on the Phillies.

Why it makes sense for the Rangers to trade Joey Gallo

To put it plainly, they suck. Gallo himself is having a down year this year (he’s currently hitting .190/.306/.458 with a .764 OPS and 25 home runs) but not as down as the Rangers. Texas recently shipped Cole Hamels to Chicago and at 42-64 and 25 games back in the AL West, they’re not contending this year in any way.

So it’s time for a rebuild but the question is how deep that rebuild needs to cut and how long they plan for it to take. Gallo isn’t a free agent until 2023 and at 24-years old is still one of the best young power hitters in baseball. In Grant’s piece, he cites Rangers GM Jon Daniels’ comment that no players are “untouchable” so it stands to reason if the price is right a Gallo trade wouldn’t be all that ridiculous to consider.

But a five-year rebuild plan doesn’t seem all that realistic in Texas. They could turn things around faster than that by getting decent prospects through other trades (hello, Adrian Beltre and Bartolo Colon) at this deadline and next year, and having Joey Gallo as a focal point of the team for that rebuild and to keep fans in the seats is a smart move. The price would — and should — have to be very high for the Rangers to actually do this.

Why it makes sense for the Phillies to trade for Joey Gallo

Although they’ve made some recent trades — acquiring Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets and inquiring about both Manny Machado and Adam Jones — the Phillies still have some spots to upgrade if they want to stay above the Braves in the division (they currently have a 2.5 game lead) and contend in the postseason.

They could use another bat, and Gallo could play at first for the Phillies without damaging their current offense (Carlos Santana’s offensive stats are nothing to write home about). Where it doesn’t make sense is what it would take to get him right now. Philadelphia has already made an offer for Machado that the Orioles rejected, and if they’re not willing to give up top prospects for a rental that could help them win right now it stands to reason they’re probably not jumping to make the — much more weighty — offer that would be needed to secure multiple years of Gallo.

Their rebuild is going just fine and while another bat would be nice they’re not in such a desperate position as to mortgage their future for him right now. This might be more legitimate as an offseason conversation, if the Phillies don’t land Machado in free agency and go after Gallo as a backup bat.

Rumor grade

C-. This looks to be kicking tires, and nothing more. Even if either side was serious about the deal it would be a shocker for it to come together in the next few days when nothing concrete has been reported until now. Stranger things have happened — and if talks escalate they could move fast enough to push something through before the paperwork is due — but right now this seems unlikely. And not a smart move either.