ARLINGTON, Texas — There are still three days remaining until we know for sure whether Joey Gallo will play for the Texas Rangers when the club welcomes the Seattle Mariners to town on Friday night.
If you were to ask Gallo where he plans to be this weekend, it's right here in Texas wearing a Rangers uniform.
"I'm leaving tickets for people [on Saturday]," Gallo told reporters on Tuesday. "So I would assume I'll be here."
Of course, Gallo knows by now what may go down prior to the weekend, despite him removing social media from his phone in an effort to block out the noise that accompanies the most unpredictable time of the baseball year. Gallo went through this process last season when the Rangers discussed the 27-year-old slugger with multiple teams at the trade deadline.
But this year is different.
"[The rumors] started a lot earlier this year than it did last year," Gallo said. "Last year, it kind of heated up with like one week to go. This year, it started from pretty much the first game of the season. Last year, it didn't seem as real. This year, it seems like there is a real possibility I could get moved."
As the clock winds down to 3:00 p.m. CT on Friday afternoon, it has seemed like one of two outcomes will come to fruition: Gallo will be traded or extended. But if the Rangers don't get the trade offer they demand from suitors or can't come to an agreement with Gallo and his agent Scott Boras on an extension, they could just revisit the situation in the winter.
It's unclear whether the Rangers believe the third option is viable. Gallo does.
"I would think that should be talked about more," Gallo said. "I have a whole year left. We can talk contract for another year. I can get traded in the winter. I can get traded next season. I don't understand it, really. I get there's a certain pressure and time that people are trying to deal with.
"I think it's highly likely too that nothing happens. Like last year, we just revisit these things in two months whenever the season ends."
But suitors may come pounding down the door for Gallo's services. And the Rangers may be given no choice but to accept.
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Throughout a season filled with trade rumors, Gallo has held firm to his desire to remain with the Rangers. He has said it publicly on a number of occasions, and expressed it again in his meeting with reporters on Tuesday.
Naturally, when a player expresses a strong desire to remain with a club as their contract or club control winds down, the term "hometown discount" gets thrown around often. While Gallo has publicly said he's not asking for an "insane amount of money" to remain a Ranger, and may even be willing to come down on an asking price, he expects what any player in his position would expect: fair compensation.
"At the end of the day, if we can find a common ground, of course. I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean it," Gallo said. "But as a player, you understand your value too. I don't really get many shots to get paid in this game. You want to make sure it's for your value. I want to be valued as well too."
That's where the sticking point generally is between club and player — typically, neither side agree on value, which translates to money. But when it comes down to how teams generally value players, Gallo checks a lot of boxes.
Gallo entered Tuesday night's game with the sixth-highest bWAR in Major League Baseball. He's always been a streaky hitter, and when he's hot, he's arguably the most dangerous hitter in baseball. But the 2019-and-beyond version of Joey Gallo finds a way to remain productive when he's in a funk with incredible patience at the plate.
In addition, Gallo has become not only one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, but one of the best defenders in baseball all together. When the Society For American Baseball Research (SABR) announced their SABR Defensive Index (SDI) numbers though July 11 — which accounts for 25 percent of the Gold Glove selection process — Gallo ranked fourth in all of MLB, regardless of position.
"I take a lot of pride in it," Gallo said. "I would consider myself as defensive-first player, honestly. Just number-wise, I'm higher up there than I am hitting, really. Like, I can hit home runs and whatnot. But I take pride in being able to change the game defensively."
We'll find out soon enough just how much the Rangers or any trade partners value Gallo. A suitor may blow the Rangers away with a trade offer. The Rangers may acquiesce and find a common ground with Gallo on an extension. Or maybe, this does get dragged out into the winter.
When Friday night comes, Gallo hopes he's taking the field in Arlington.
"I just wake up and see what team I'm playing for that day," Gallo said. "Hopefully, it's Texas."
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