Should the Padres Consider Re-Signing Freddy Galvis?

Credit: AP Photo

For years, the Padres have been searching for the shortstop of the future, a guy who can step in and be truly productive at the position for multiple seasons.

It has been too long since the team has had the luxury of having a player that fits that description, and that’s a fact which is representative of the team’s struggles over the same time period. They’ve seemingly let various veterans play as stopgaps at the position over the recent years, who have been anywhere from mediocre to simply bad at playing shortstop.

During the offseason, the Padres acquired Freddy Galvis, who was supposed to upgrade the position in 2018. Galvis has been solid, and while he hasn’t hit particularly well — he’s at least provided above-average defense in support of the Padres’ pitching staff. Though the bar has been set low, Galvis has been the best Padres shortstop in recent memory.

How should the Padres value him, as he enters free agency this offseason?

This entire debate has been made much more interesting by the injury of Fernando Tatis Jr., which has left him out for the rest of the season. While the team has said that they expect Tatis to compete for a roster spot next spring, they are never realistically going to put him on the Opening Day roster to start the 2019 season. For obvious reasons, they want to keep him down to have another year of control over him in arbitration, but this is also a 19-year-old who hasn’t even played in Triple-A. He will be twenty years old for the entirety of next season, so should we really expect the Padres to rush their top prospect to the big leagues?

Probably not. And this is where the question of re-signing Galvis comes in.

Let’s go through some potential internal options the team may consider as replacements for Galvis if they chose not to try to bring him back. Javier Guerra was acquired in the Craig Kimbrel trade, and has been lauded for his exceptional defensive abilities. The issue is that he has hit terribly since his breakout season at Low-A ball in 2015. His .210 average and 36.2% strikeout rate at Triple-A this year are not encouraging signs.

Another option is Luis Urias, who played a fair amount of shortstop at Double-A San Antonio last season, and also team México in the World Baseball Classic. His hitting ability is undisputed, and nearly ready for the big leagues. A second baseman by trade, Urias’ defense at shortstop has been seen as around average — unspectacular, but generally good enough to stick at the position. He could certainly be a player to try at the position above all other options the Padres currently have.

Credit: AP Photo

With no real alternative options at shortstop, the Padres are probably thinking about the possibility of bringing Galvis back on a one or two-year deal. There have been no other players on the Padres’ roster who have much experience playing shortstop, and Galvis has played in every game for the team. There’s a reason the team has not let anyone else play the position; because they don’t have anyone else to fill in there. The Padres would be ambitious to go into 2019 without finding a more capable player to step in at the position, at least until Tatis is ready to take the reins.

Bringing back Galvis would be a reasonable idea when one takes into consideration the alternative options the Padres have. He’s been worth 0.5 WAR this season, according to Fangraphs, so clearly he isn’t an elite kind of player contenders would be chasing during the offseason. There are also few teams with a real need at the shortstop position — almost every single team in contention this season already has a strong shortstop entrenched at the position and under control during at least the 2019 season or longer.

There shouldn’t be much competition for Galvis’ services this offseason, especially when considering the fact that this year’s free agent class is so loaded with talent.

The teams spending the most over the winter will likely not be throwing their money at an average shortstop. It seems reasonable enough for the Padres to bring back Galvis on a one year, $6-8 million deal. Galvis should be interested in returning to San Diego, where he’s comfortable and already is familiar with the team. The Padres can also offer him significant playing time at shortstop for at least the beginning of the season, which is something many other teams cannot guarantee.

This entire situation may be different if Fernando Tatis Jr. hadn’t injured his thumb recently. If he had played in Triple-A for a month to end the season, or continued to terrorize Texas League pitching, he’d be seen as much more ready to challenge next spring for the shortstop job in San Diego. Yet the fact that he hasn’t played a game at Triple-A, coupled with his age, likely encourages the Padres to be as cautious with him as possible. Maybe they feel like Luis Urias will be ready to fill in at the position while Tatis refines himself a little more to start next season. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to do so. Though when it comes down to it, the Padres would likely be making the best choice by bringing back Freddy Galvis to solidify the position next year.

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Conrad Parrish
A sophomore at Willamette University in Oregon, Conrad is majoring in Spanish but is also a writing center assistant for other students at Willamette. He has been a Padres die-hard his whole life and hopes to bring comprehensible statistical analysis to the site.

9 thoughts on “Should the Padres Consider Re-Signing Freddy Galvis?

  1. Okay, that’s a decent subject. And yeah I’m assuming so, based on De Los Santos projecting to be at least a decent SP. Freddy has brought some professionalism to this joke of an organization. And while i feel bad for him having to play here at this moment, if we’re to pretend we have a good team on the horizon, we have to be strong up the middle just as we were in 84′, 98′, and arguably a couple of other years… I guess in this instance we’ll see if we actually can end up with a CF, a 2B and a C who can field and hit a little… but yes, Freddy is a damn good start. Unfortunately, we can’t have he and Hedges on the same squad unless they are considering actually having some hitters on the team. Giving away 3-4 lineup spots per game is already killing us enough. This ain’t football, and defense, while essential, does not win championships.

  2. One of the very few bright spots in an otherwise dismal year, has been Galvis’ play at short. Bring him back.

  3. The signing of Galvis to a 2 year contract would definitely be worth it. Everyone knows how young stars can crumble under the weight of expectations. There are very few Mike Trouts or Bryce Harpers. A sure thing like Anthony Rizzo was hitting under .200 when the Padres traded him for an “ace” pitcher. I have not heard one person who knows anything about baseball, criticize Galvis’ defense. It has been stellar.
    The last good hitting SS the Padres had was Khalil Green, 2003 – 2008, who was also a stellar defender. It is rare when you get both in a SS. Freddy has earned a new contract !

    1. Hell yes! We need him, regardless of our “loaded” infield in the farm system. He’s one of the few actual pros on this team. Great clubhouse guy too. Good call on Khalil, I wish he could have held it together. Otherwise, our club seems to have an aversion to getting SS or even catchers who can do both. Build a lineup and Freddy can hit .240 for the rest of his life. He’s excellent.

  4. I would have signed him for a few years before making the mistake of Hosmer…Galvis has been better than expected. I would now offer him 2 years and put Meyer at 3rd. and keep Tatis under control for at least an extra year.

    1. Hehe isn’t it funny they’re even talking about putting Wil at 3rd though? The dude is a mess and should be a DH in the AL. Putting him at 3rd is an interesting afterthought and while it won’t be worse than our present situation, it definitely won’t be better.
      …What am I saying? He’ll play 50 games next year.

  5. I think there is a good chance Tatis is up after the minimum number of games in the minors next year to get the additional year of control. My vote is to pass on Galvis. Like the D but it the O.

    1. Yeah but you have to bring him back even if it’s for the sake of transition (pretending that we’re actually going to be better). He’s the only other pro on the team outside of Hosmer and he’s a good leader. 13 mil looks great against Wil’s upcoming salary which he will earn on the bench with bruised toenails

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(Visited 433 times, 1 visits today)
Conrad Parrish
A sophomore at Willamette University in Oregon, Conrad is majoring in Spanish but is also a writing center assistant for other students at Willamette. He has been a Padres die-hard his whole life and hopes to bring comprehensible statistical analysis to the site.