Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ Joey Gallo signing

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Joey Gallo hits a sacrifice RBI against the Colorado Rockies. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Joey Gallo hits a sacrifice RBI against the Colorado Rockies. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The MLB offseason continues moving onward, and the Minnesota Twins continue to slowly plod along after them. After missing out on Carlos Correa, Carlos Rodon, and Xander Bogaerts, the team had only landed Christian Vázquez. Today, that changed:

Adding Joey Gallo is a good move in a vacuum. Gallo is an elite defender with some of the best power in baseball, but is he a good fit here? Well, like we do with all of the Minnesota Twins deals, we get to break down this one as well.

We grade the Minnesota Twins signing of outfielder Joey Gallo.

We’ll start with what the team is getting. First the good: Gallo is an excellent defender. Since he became a full-time player in 2017, Gallo is tenth among all outfielders in runs saved per the Fielding Bible.

He’s primarily a corner outfielder, but he can also play center fielder and first base when needed. He’s also an elite power hitter who walks a ton, something that corner outfielders are always supposed to be.

Then the bad. Gallo struggles mightily to make good contact, hitting just .160 over 128 games last season and hasn’t hit over .199 since 2019. There’s a good chance that improves now that the shift was banned, but he’s still not going to be a good hitter.

Then there’s the ugly. In addition to the player with the best strikeout percentage in baseball, they have now brought in the player with the worst strikeout percentage, as he struck out an astonishing 39.8% of the time in 2022.

Keeping this in mind, the deal is a confusing one. The Minnesota Twins currently employ Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Matt Wallner, Mark Contreras, Max Kepler, and Nick Gordon, six (mostly) outfielders who are left-handed bats. Why add Gallo (who’s basically just an amplified version of all of Kepler’s worst traits)? Especially for $11 million?

Well, this almost certainly means that Kepler is gone it takes away a lot of the value of the deal. I love Gallo, and though I thought he’d be a great addition at the trade deadline, he doesn’t make a ton of sense now. This whole thing is kind of a weird fit, and the team still needs to add another right-handed outfielder.

His talent and value is the only thing that makes me like this deal and saves it from being a confusing disaster, and I like having him on my team, but this is a lot of money for a redundant player. Here’s hoping the Twins add the pre-New York Yankees version. Grade: B-.

Next. 4 Possible Trade Chips not named Kepler or Arraez. dark