DETROIT – In what may have been the lowest point of the season, Rangers manager Chris Woodward sought out Joey Gallo, reached out and shook his hand.
Woodward had preached the need for fight and grit for two days, and in Gallo, he saw, perhaps, the team’s only current personification of it. In Monday’s 14-0 loss to Detroit, the third-straight shutout loss the Rangers had suffered, Gallo had two rifles from right field for outfield assists.
“That speaks volumes to me,” Woodward said of Gallo’s performance and competitive demeanor. “That’s the kind of guy you want to build around.”
Woodward said more in his Monday postgame press conference, but let’s stop there, because everyone knows we have to stop there.
This is not a secret: Within the next 10 days, Gallo – a homegrown prospect and the Rangers’ longest tenured member – will know his immediate baseball fate. He’ll either be dealt to a contender before the deadline, or he’ll still belong on the team that drafted him, something Gallo said he’s made “crystal clear” he wants. With one year of arbitration left after this year before free agency, Gallo could even get a shiny new extension with the Rangers. General Manager Chris Young has previously said the team is considering doing a long-term deal with Gallo and agent Scott Boras.
The secret is what the Rangers will actually decide.
“It’s a big decision for us,” Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels said before Wednesday’s game.
Big, because it isn’t an easy one, for multiple reasons.
The first lies in the objective. Gallo is 27, a two-time All-Star, a Gold Glove right fielder – as evidenced by his seven outfield assists and 11 runs saved – and a slugger who’s on pace for his third 40+ home run season. The other two seasons were the only times he’s appeared in more than 70 games. He entered Wednesday with the third most strikeouts in the league, but countered by the most walks. He was fifth among…