If things continue to go at the plate over the next two months as they are now, Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo will have a decision to make.
Compete in the Home Run Derby, if invited, and chase the $1 million first-place prize, or take a pass in an attempt to preserve his swing.
It’s not an easy choice for a player who is going as well as he ever has but who also is making around $400,000 less this season than what he could earn in a few hours on All-Star Monday in Cleveland.
He was leaning toward doing it Monday afternoon.
“I’ll probably do it,” Gallo said, though not convincingly.
Gallo is one of the game’s elite sluggers, but he has struggled going into the All-Star break the past few seasons and didn’t feel like it would be a popular move with his teammates to compete.
The winner last year, Bryce Harper, was also struggling going into the All-Star Game but competed at his home ballpark. He won only $125,000.
But MLB and the players association reached agreement on an increased prize pool this year, and the $1 million will entice many of the game’s best sluggers.
Gallo, who has hit 90 homers since the start of the 2017 season, is one of them.
“I don’t know,” said Gallo, who on Monday was named the American League Player of the Week. “I’ve thought about it. If I’m playing well and like my swing, I don’t want to risk screwing it up. At the same time, it’s a million dollars. We’ll see.”