Re-Grading the Cardinals' Giovanny Gallegos trade with 20/20 hindsight

This Trade Deadline swap now looks like a triumph for the Redbirds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Looking back at this trade between the Cardinals and the New York Yankees at the 2018 Trade Deadline, it didn't seem like much at first. But it has had some positive results for the Cardinals over the past several seasons.

Here is the complete trade that went down on July 29 2018.

Cardinals acquire: Giovanny Gallegos and Chasen Shreve
Yankees acquire: Luke Voit and international bonus slot money

On the Yankees' side of things, they were competing for a World Series in '18 and saw Luke Voit as a potential upgrade at first base as they were not getting much production from Greg Bird and Tyler Austin. The Wildwood, Missouri native Voit was not getting much playing time in St. Louis, only playing 70 games across two seasons, and he flourished with the extra playing time in New York. Voit slashed .333/.405/.689 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI in only 39 games, helping the Yankees reach 100 wins on the season. Voit continued to produce the following season with 21 home runs but missed 44 games with injuries to his abdomen, and head, also he was dealing with a hernia.

The shortened 2020 season was Voits best season in the big leagues, winning the home run title with 22 home runs in just 56 games, but knee troubles caused him to miss more than half the season in 2021. In the following Off-season, Voit was traded to the Padres for Justin Lange who is currently in A ball for the Yankees organization. Voit hit .271 with 68 home runs in 281 games wearing pinstripes.

Looking at Giovanny Gallegos, he was first sent to Triple A-Memphis after the trade, then made 2 appearances with St. Louis towards the end of the season. But in 2019 Gallegos became a mainstay in the Cardinals bullpen being relied on late in games, he was excellent. In 74 innings, Gallegos only allowed 44 hits, and 16 walks, and recorded 93 strikeouts, pitching to a 2.31 ERA. Fast forwarding to the present, Gallegos has continued to be a steady and reliable arm in the bullpen for the Cards.

He had a 3.60 ERA in 16 appearances in the shortened 2020 year but excluding that season and combining his 3 full seasons ( 2019/2021-2022) Gallegos has averaged 65 appearances and over 71 innings pitched per season, with an ERA under 3. His stellar work earned him a two-year extension with the Cardinals this off-season. The other arm the Cards acquired in this trade was Chasen Shreve, who was solid in 20 relief outings in 2018 ( 3.07 ERA in 14 and two-thirds innings) but only made 3 appearances with the team in '19, while spending most of the year in the minor leagues. Shreve would sign with the Mets for the 2020 season which leaves Gallegos as the only player in this deal that is still with the team he was traded to.

After five years, you can re-grade this trade for both clubs to see how it has helped or hurt both teams. Here is how I would grade the results from this trade for the Cardinals and the Yankees.

Cardinals grade: A

The Cardinals did not get much from Shreve, but they have found a diamond in the rough in Gallegos who went from not being able to stay in the big leagues over an extended period of time with the Yankees to a trusted durable bullpen guy for the Redbirds. He has had his flare-ups every now and then, but a 2.93 ERA across parts of 6 seasons in St.Louis shows how efficient he has been late in games. Granted the Cardinals lost Luke Voit in this deal, but the Cards were able to trade for Paul Goldschmidt the following Off-season to play first base which has paid significant dividends for St.Louis, especially last season bringing home the National League MVP.

Yankees grade: B

Luke Voit was very productive in his 4 seasons in New York, injuries prevented him from achieving more. Despite the Yankees giving away 2 relief pitchers in this trade, they have not been hurt without Gallegos and Shreve, just like the Cardinals have not been hurt without Voit. Excluding the 2020 season, the Yankees have had a top-10 bullpen in every season since this trade, including having the number-one bullpen so far in 2023. Another way the Yankees could benefit here in the near future is the pitcher they acquired when they traded Voit in 2022 to San Diego, Justin Lange, who is 25th on the Yankees' top prospect list according to


A trade that didn't get lots of attention at the time, has turned into positive outcomes short term and long term for both teams involved, but after 5 years it seems the Cardinals have gotten more out of this trade than the Yankees have.

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