<
>

Aaron Boone says Joey Gallo will be with New York Yankees on Friday

play
Boone: Yankees got better with addition of Gallo (0:50)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks highly of Joey Gallo and expresses excitement that he's joining the team. (0:50)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- All-Star slugger Joey Gallo's trade to the New York Yankees from the Texas Rangers was completed Thursday, giving the heavily right-handed Yankees a much-needed powerful lefty bat.

Manager Aaron Boone said he spoke with Gallo on Thursday and "welcomed him to the team."

With switch-hitting center fielder Aaron Hicks hurt, second baseman Rougned Odor and outfielder Brett Gardner have been the only left-handed hitters to see substantial playing time.

"I think we're a lot better today,'' Boone said before the Yankees played Tampa Bay.

Later Thursday, the Yankees were on the verge of acquiring another left-handed power hitter, finalizing a trade with the Chicago Cubs for first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

Boone said that Gallo will be with the Yankees for Friday's series opener against the Marlins in Miami.

While he has played right field for Texas, Boone envisions Gallo playing a lot in left for the Yankees, who have Aaron Judge as their regular right fielder.

"We're excited to add an All-Star,'' Boone said.

The Rangers received right-hander Glenn Otto, second baseman Ezequiel Duran, shortstop Josh Smith and second baseman/outfielder Trevor Hauver from New York. Texas also sent pitcher Joely Rodriguez to New York.

Jon Daniels, Texas' president of baseball operations, said it was emotional to trade away a homegrown player who had become an All-Star. He said there had been some discussions about a contract extension, but the former GM said it was clear the chances for a deal now were unrealistic, making a trade the best alternative for the last-place Rangers.

"Obviously if we're in a different competitive spot, we weren't in a rebuilding situation, which we are and have acknowledged and talked about, this could look a little different,'' Daniels said.

New York's left-handed hitters have struggled this season, ranking last in the majors in average (.197), 28th in home runs (22) and OPS (.633) and 29th in hard-hit rate (33%).

A two-time All-Star, Gallo ranks sixth in the AL this season with 25 home runs, to go with 55 RBIs and a .223 average. He had struggled mightily at the plate since the All-Star break, with no home runs and a .067 average in the 10 games following, before breaking out Tuesday with a three-run shot against the Diamondbacks.

Gallo, 27, is among just eight rostered major leaguers with multiple career 40-homer seasons (2017, 2018).

Gallo is owed $2.2 million from his $6.2 million salary. He is eligible for arbitration next winter and can become a free agent after the 2022 season.

The Yankees began the day 8½ games behind Boston in the AL East and trail Tampa Bay, Oakland and Seattle in the wild-card race for two spots.

Rodriguez, 29, is 1-3 with one save and a 5.93 ERA in 31 relief appearances this season, holding left-handed batters to a .176 average. He is 2-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 81 relief appearances over four seasons with Philadelphia (2016-17) and Texas (2020-21), and he was 3-7 with a 1.85 ERA over 90 relief appearances in 2018-19 for the Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Central League.

Duran, 22, hit .290 with 15 doubles, six triples, 12 homers and 48 RBIs this season in 67 games with High-A Hudson Valley.

Hauver, 22, made his professional debut this season with Low-A Tampa, hitting .288 with 17 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs in 66 games.

Otto, 25, was 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.

Smith, 23, hit .324 with 12 doubles, nine homers, 24 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 39 games with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley.

Daniels said the Rangers acquired three players they see as eventually becoming everyday bats in the big leagues, along with a young Texas-born starting pitcher who could get his first shot in the majors later this season. Daniels said all four were critical to getting the deal completed.

"Overall, it's a really good value, four players that we're excited about,'' Daniels said. "It made sense to us, and we believe it'll make sense to our fans in time.''

The Associated Press contributed to this report.