A.J. Preller connected with Matt Klentak (Philadelphia Phillies GM) Friday morning, flipping the number 13 prospect in the Padres organization for 28-year-old shortstop Freddy Galvis.
Enyel De Los Santos, starting pitching prospect, came to the Padres in November of 2015 when the team traded reliever Joaquin Benoit for De Los Santos. Since then, he has worked his way up to Double-A San Antonio and falling in line as one of the possible members of the wave of talent to come next season.
Last season in San Antonio, De Los Santos held a 3.70 ERA over 150.0 innings pitched. In 26 appearances, 24 starts, he struck out an impressive 138 batters while walking 48.
Freddy Galvis has been in the league since debuting at 22 in 2012. He has reps at every position on the field, except first base, however he has the most reps at shortstop (485 games started at SS, 71 at 2B, 19 at 3B, 24 in OF). He holds a career 3.0 WAR and worked a 1.3 WAR last season.
Galvis has a career .984 fielding-percentage at shortstop, but upped his career average last season while earning a .989 fielding-percentage last season with 404 assists, 226 putouts, seven errors, and 94 double plays turned in 637 chances.
He slashed .255/.309/.382 with 12 homers, 29 doubles, 45 walks (career high) and 61 RBI (2nd-most in career, 67 in 2016) in 608 at-bats last season.
To put his last seasons numbers into perspective, Galvis would have been in the top-5 in batting average and walks and he would have tied Wil Myers for first with doubles on the Padres. Despite not being much of a slugger, his .309 on-base percentage would have ranked higher than any player to fill in at shortstop for the Padres last season.
Not only is the five-year veteran a good addition on the field, but Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the bi-lingual veteran emerged as the leader in the inexperienced Phillies clubhouse. A strong, on-the-field leader is something that was lacking among the young Padres.
It doesn’t make much sense why Preller would flip such a highly-rated starting pitcher on the verge of making his MLB debut for and veteran shortstop. One way to look at it is that Preller and company have a great deal of confidence in young pitchers working their way up the Friars system. Also, that fans and management together, grew weary of the huge hanging question mark at shortstop every year and Galvis is just the short-term bridge until Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready for the show.
With 14 prospects (now 13 with the loss of Enyel de los Santos) in the Padres Top 30 that are pitchers, it may seem like they can afford to flip a SP prospect for a solution at an empty position. Especially when the role is being filled by someone who has been deemed a leader in a young clubhouse already.