Former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis is coming back to the National League, and joining a team that’s only three games behind the Phillies in a crowded National League Wild Card race.
Monday, the Cincinnati Reds claimed Galvis on outright waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet Canada, waived Galvis as they attempt to open up more playing time for younger players, such as Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. Knowing that they hoped to get a better look at some of their younger pieces, why didn’t Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins trade Galvis prior to the July 31 trade deadline? TSN‘s Scott Mitchell says that trade interest in the 29-year-old shortstop was “nonexistent.”
The sure-handed infielder broke into the league with the Phillies in 2012 and spent parts of six seasons in red pinstripes. Though he was initially a utility player, Galvis took over as the Phillies starting shortstop in 2015 after franchise icon Jimmy Rollins was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. His best season as a Phillie came in 2016, when he posted five defensive runs saved, was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop and posted a career 2.3 fWAR.
Unfortunately for Galvis, while he’s been one of the best fielding shortstops in the sport over the last five seasons and can play second and third base at a high level as well, that couldn’t make up for his lack of ability to consistently get on base. Though Galvis has some pop – he hit 20 home runs in 2016 – he has just a .291 career on-base percentage. Since 2015, Galvis’ -64.5 offensive WAR is the fourth worst mark among all qualified hitters.
The Phillies traded Galvis to the San Diego Padres in December of 2017, acquiring RHP Enyel De Los Santos as they attempted to open up regular playing time at shortstop for J.P. Crawford. Galvis spent a season with the Padres, but he was essentially a place-holder, as superstar rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. has taken over at shortstop this season. Galvis more or less served that same role in Toronto this year, where he signed a one-year/$4 million deal and posted a 1.4 fWAR in 115 games. The Reds – who also employ Jose Iglesias, another really good fielding shortstop that’s flawed offensively – will have a $5.5 million option on Galvis for the 2020 season.
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