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Indians aggressively pursuing Joey Gallo

Here’s a weird one to scratch off your trade deadline bingo card.

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians are reportedly one of the “most aggressive” teams inquiring about Texas Rangers ball crusher Joey Gallo, per Sports Day.

Along with the Indians, the Philadelphia Phillies are also rumored to be aggressively inquiring about Gallo. I’m not exactly sure how a front office inquires aggressively, but that’s the wording used in the Sports Day report, and that’s what I’m going to use. I assume it’s the difference between putting a flippant “lol” at the end of your inquiry or leaving your statement hanging. It’s a tightrope out there, folks.

Gallo is only 24 years old and four years into his major league career, but he’s already reached post-hype status with his inability to hit for any kind of average. In the same mold of Ryan Howard (but with all sliders turned to the extremes), Gallo can hit balls 500 feet, but he pulls the ball nearly 50 percent of the time and he strikes out in well over a third of his at-bats. His career slash sits at .197/.316/.484 over 1077 plate appearances.

The Rangers have tried getting Gallo’s power into the lineup by putting him in multiple defensive positions. He’s gone through the usual trip of first base to third base to the outfield, and in 2018 he’s spent most of his time in left field, where he has cost the Rangers seven runs according to Defensive Runs Saved.

What could the Indians be looking for in in him? Well, for one he technically has legs and an arm and thus could occupy an outfield spot, which makes him an instant valuable asset for the depleted position. And, uh, I don’t know, dingers? It’s hard to really find a reason for the Indians being so aggressive in pursuing him, outside of the sheer novelty of having such a giant human being hitting baseballs in a Tribe uniform.

The flip side is that Gallo has a year of team control and three years of arbitration left before he becomes a free agent in 2023. That easily covers the Indians’ current window to win, and if Gallo can somehow figure out how to make better contact, he could turn into a monster for the Indians down the road. It’s a stretch, but not an impossible one.

But for now, this sounds more like the Indians dutifully exploring every single option available to fill holes before the deadline.