Twitter just about exploded last week when the San Diego Padres announced the acquisition of Freddy Galvis from the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Friars had finally landed a shortstop, but instead of being happy about it, fans were immediately angry.
I have to admit, I did not see the signing right away. After a few hours away from it all, I picked up my phone and saw the Padres obtained Galvis. It was not a huge surprise, as the team had been eyeing the infielder and kicked the tires a few times on him. The surprise, and what angered a lot of fans, was that the Padres moved a prospect to get Galvis.
Enyel De Los Santos has progressed well, and after learning he was the player in the dealt, I could understand why fans were a bit perturbed.
The Padres had moved one of their top-30 prospects for a one-year rental. Galvis is only under contract for 2018 and then is a free agent. He may walk away from San Diego, while De Los Santos is under control for the next five or six years minimum. That is a not a good thing. Something that is the exact opposite of the long-term plan that was supposed to be in place. I can certainly comprehend people’s anger, but was the trade really that bad?
Yes, Galvis is average at best at shortstop. BUT, the Padres have longed for an “average” player at the position since the days of Khalil Greene. Galvis will not be a player to build around, but at least for 2018, the Friars have their man. One could argue that Alcides Escobar (available on the free agent market) could be had for half the monetary value and he would not cost you a prospect either. While that is true, Escobar comes with many question marks and would just be a rental.
Isn’t a one-year rental exactly what Galvis is? Not necessarily.
A.J. Preller has already stated that an extension with Galvis in not out of the question. The Padres would not want to get too heavily invested in Galvis with many young shortstops in the system, but they could have some interest beyond 2018. The Venezuelan is capable of playing multiple positions, and with his switch hitting bat, could be an awesome utility player for the Padres down the road. It would really come down to dollars and cents on an extension. Galvis on the open market would probably land a two or three-year deal with ease. That really depends on his upcoming (contract year) season, which could either hurt his value or increase it.
Freddy Galvis is an established veteran major league player that is well-respected among his peers. The clubhouse presence he provides is reportedly off the charts. He is bilingual and has worked well with younger players in the past. Stuff like that cannot be recognized on a stat cheat, but it certainly has a lot to do with wins and losses. Galvis will certainly help the Padres in 2018, but what about De Los Santos? Will his trade end up being a Corey Kluber situation?
Enyel De Los Santos is an excellent young prospect, but he has some issues that are definitely troubling. Presently, he gets a lot of movement on his fastball and is able to crank it up to the mid 90’s, but there are some real concerns about his short stride and “all arm” motion. He shot-puts the ball up to the plate with his mechanics, and that leads many to question if he will have future arm woes. I am not trying to be negative, just stating the scouting report on the right-handed hurler.
There are also questions about his secondary pitches. His change is currently ahead of the curve ball, but neither pitch is above average at the moment. He is only 21 (just about to turn 22), so he could easily refine his secondary pitches with time. Early indications are that he could end up in the bullpen instead of the rotation. That remains to be seen, though.
As you dissect the Padres’ minor league system, you realize that the majority of their depth comes from starting pitchers. De Los Santos had value, but with players like Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, Jacob Nix, and Jerry Keel performing at his current level and pitchers like Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, Logan Allen, Anderson Espinoza, Pedro Avila, and Reggie Lawson coming up right behind him, he had no set place on the team. The Padres have depth. And that is a good thing. Why not hand-pick a prospect whom you are willing to part with to improve your team now?
Of course losing a pitcher like De Los Santos hurts, but just look at the names that are there to replace him and the loss is well worth the gamble. Another key thing to factor in the trade is that the Padres selected many collegiate pitchers last June in the draft. Nick Margevicius, Elliot Ashbeck, Aaron Cunningham, and Aaron Leasher are all developing and could very easily supplant the loss of Enyel.
In the end, losing De Los Santos hurts. But Freddy Galvis provides an established player at a position that has been a thorn in the side of Padres fans for a long time. The Padres can either talk a reasonable extension with the shortstop sometime during the season, or they can possibly move him in July for prospects. Who knows what they can acquire for him then? Preller has already shown the ability to turn one team’s trash into reasonable prospects. Freddy Galvis is not flashy, nor is he going to push the Padres’ 2018 team to the promised land. But he could very well be a piece to the long-term plan in San Diego.