Left turn: Boone says Yankees 'a lot better' with Gallo

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — 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.

New York acquired Gallo, left-hander Joely Rodriguez and cash from the Texas Rangers for minor league right-hander Glenn Otto and infielders Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver and Josh Smith.

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.

The 27-year-old Gallo is hitting .223 with 25 homers, 55 RBIs and a major league-leading 74 walks. While he has played right field for Texas, Boone envisions Bruce 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.

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

The two-time All-Star is a career .211 hitter in seven seasons, but launches a lot of longballs. He hit 41 home runs in 2017 and 40 in 2018.

The Yankees began the day 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East and trailing Tampa Bay, Oakland and Seattle in the wild-card race for two spots.

Rodríguez, 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, 24RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 39 games with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Mark Didtler, The Associated Press

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