On Saturday afternoon, Rangers manager Chris Woodward was explaining why Joey Gallo, the AL's current King of OPS, was once again hitting in the No. 5 spot in his lineup, which is so very old school.
Woodward said the No. 5 spot holds some level of familiarity for Gallo, which makes him comfortable and at ease, but also acknowledged that at some point, he's going to move Gallo into the top three spots in the batting order.
"You see a lot of teams putting their best player in the No. 2 spot now," Woodward started before being interrupted.
Hold up: He's your best player?
"Yeah, among the position players, I think he is," Woodward said. "He's done so many good things. There are things he's going to have to do to take the next step, which is to maintain those numbers, but he's done so much to get himself here."
There is a whole column to be written about the decision to move Gallo into the top three spots in the lineup at some point. He's hit third just three times this season and isn't a real fan of hitting second, though Woodward said he's toyed with the notion. Mike Trout, for whom OPS will surely be renamed, for example, has taken 52% of his plate appearances since 2016 in the No. 2 spot. And he hasn't taken a start below No. 3 since that time.
Sure, there is a whole column to be written about that.
But, more important, is the growing belief that Gallo's start to the season doesn't just represent a hot streak, but his arrival as one of the game's premier players.
"I'm proud of what he's done early on here," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Saturday. "He's mentally in a great spot, and he's preparing at a really high level."
Now comes the next step: contract talks.
Negotiations are coming.
In fact, they might be right around the corner.
It's not necessary for the Rangers to dive deep into contract talks right away. Gallo doesn't become eligible for salary arbitration until after this season, so they could get down to real business after the season (which is probably when they'd rather do business anyway).
But it also makes some sense to take some time during period between the June 3-5 MLB draft and July 31 trade deadline to get a sense of what it might take. Well, besides, this general sum: a lot.