The Blue Jays announced today that they have signed veteran infielder Freddy Galvis. It’s a one-year deal that includes a club option for 2020.
Galvis receives a $5MM guarantee, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). That includes a $4MM salary for the coming season and $1MM buyout on a 2020 option that can instead be exercised at $5.5MM. Righty Danny Barnes was designated for assignment to create 40-man roster space.
Galvis, 29, has logged a ton of innings at shortstop over the past several seasons for second-division clubs. In fact, he appeared in all 162 games in 2017 with the Phillies and in 2018 with the Padres. He was rumored to be a target of the Pirates after talks for a return to San Diego seemingly fizzled earlier in the offseason.
As it turns out, Galvis will join a Toronto club that doesn’t seem to have much hope of contention but is interested in bolstering its infield situation. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be given an everyday role at short or will instead share time there with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. while also moving around the field.
The 2018 season turned out to be Galvis’s most productive overall effort at the plate, with his .248/.299/.380 slash and 13 long balls translating to a personal-high 85 wRC+. That’s still not much offense, obviously, but it’s a tick above his lifetime output (.246/.290/.374).
How to explain the fact that Galvis has been a steady regular for the past four seasons? Beyond the fact that he’s obviously a respected and dedicated professional, with the benefit of being a switch-hitter with both pop and speed, glovework obviously represents the carrying tool here.
Galvis is quite sure-handed, having been charged with just 24 total errors over the past three campaigns. Metrics are not unanimous on Galvis’s abilities at short, but generally reflect a positive view of his glovework. Oddly, he started out as a Ultimate Zone Rating darling who wasn’t as well-loved by Defensive Runs Saved, but the two systems flipped on him last year (-3.8 UZR, +7 DRS).
While he’s primarily a shortstop now, it probably doesn’t hurt that Galvis has a good bit of experience elsewhere as well. Previously, he has spent time at second base, third base, and left field (along with a one-game stint in center).
As for Barnes, the 29-year-old righty had a strong 2017 showing in Toronto, working to a 3.55 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.3 B/9 through 66 innings of relief. His extreme proneness to fly-balls, penchant for surrendering homers and an unsustainable 81.6 percent strand rate made him a clear regression candidate, though, and that proved to be the case. Barnes was clobbered for a 5.71 ERA with 8.4 K/9 against 4.8 BB/9 in 41 innings this past season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Freddy struggles to get on base but Blue Jays fans should still be happy. The kid is a baller and plays some pretty sweet SS.
Yep! He does the job there.
Yes and a very underrated Fielding SS,Solid!
Correct. It was a blast watching him work this past year here in San Diego. His arm flies a little ever so often but man it sure was good to see at least one pure baseball player on the diamond, 162 games. The guys tough and shows up with glove in hand.
1) A great attitude/clubhouse guy
2) Fun to watch for the fans
Realistically not a great everyday player on a team trying to win right now, but a great fit for a rebuilding team looking for stability.
Also, only player to play every game the last two seasons. And the glove is good; even with his poor hitting he’s an above-average player.
Bichette stop gap?
Ya Bichette will be in AAA this year. They have Lourdes at SS who they want to give a good look at. So likely a backup SS and 2B option. Travis does not have a long leash at 2B with Drury as well on the team.
Their immediate SS depth is not great…. of course Bichette is close and Kevin Smith took a huge leap last year, They have several other SS in their top 30 prospects.
Urena would have been the next SS in line, but he is not very polished. Makes sense to have a quality SS/2B to go with Lourdes
For all the concern about Vlad’s glove, Bichette’s D should be every bit as concerning. Given his scouting reports as a runner, 2B or 3B may be Bichette’s future. Biggio’s the better infield defender, maybe Bichette should be the one moved to the OF.
It’s hard to know right now, they both are really young and have been said to be really hard workers and dedicated to improving their defensive skills. So they both likely get a chance at their respective positions.
If for some reason long term they need to look at 2B/3B or OF for Bo and 1B for Vlad…. well its something they can sort out.
They both have great bats and you might as well give them the opportunity to thrive at a premium position.
They have a ton of depth in the IF, if they need to move to another position, they can sort it out
Agreed. I just think moving the better INF defender to the OF may not be the right choice (Biggio). There was even a tease last season about Gurriel going to CF. Then there’s Alford….yeah, lots to figure out.
I am not sure Biggio would be better than Bo…. consider that Bo is holding himself at SS in the minors and Biggio is playing the less demanding 2B position.
I am not fully sold on Biggio yet but you have to like the power and walk combo. His SO% and low BA are a question coming up to MLB. However I think he can be one of those guys that benefit from the ball traveling better in the bigs which adds another power level.
Regardless it doesn’t hurt to add positional flexibility and figure out who slots where long term
Biggio isn’t the better infielder. Most of the recent reports have Bichette sticking at SS anyway. If for some reason he does fail at SS he will be moved to 2b.
After watching Biggio&Bichette in Double A ball, they both need some defensive work, wouldn’t be surprised to see Bichette end up at 2B, and Biggio either at 1B or Corner OF
TBJ – So you’re all in for Bichette and his .949 career fielding percentage at SS? This is why you address the positions now rather than later.
Bichette is not improving at SS in-terms of minimizing mistakes. He makes a lot of them. Vlad at least is showing some improvement.
Bichette at 2B? Fine. Let’s not pretend he’s sticking at SS when he’s proven he is not up for the position.
Literally everything you’ve said here is completely wrong. Bichette was expected to not stick at SS but he’s been surprisingly good at SS and has a chance to stick at SS in the majors, although I think he ends up at 2b in the end. Conversely, Cavan Biggio is a really bad second baseman and has very high error totals. This is the reason they moved him to the outfield in the AFL. Please stop making stuff up.
FlippinBats – Bichette has higher error totals than Biggio. A Google search will validate that.
Last two years at 2B, Bichette holds a .963 fielding percentage while Biggio has a .979.
Bichette at SS: career .949 fielding percentage.
Look it up. Do the math if your brain can handle it from 2017 onward. Leave the conversation to adults while you live in a fantasy world pretending I make things up. While you’re in your room pick up your toys from the floor.
Why is Bchette be annointed as a slamdunk Major League SS? I’d have to agree with Trim, at best he is 2nd base in the big leagues and will be a below average player.
Biggio is a corner outfielder, probably leftfield. I scout Biggio much high at the big league level than Bichette.
Vlad will be a star but he definitely must continue to work on his defense.
You regurgitate the same garbage over and over again without ever actually saying anything. Is it his hit tool that’s going to lead him to be below average? Because there’s quite a few professional scouts who disagree with you.
Ya Bichette has a 70 grade hit tool….. good luck suggesting he wont be a quality player. 70 hit, power 55 and overall 60 grade….. 21 in March
Biggio 50 hit, 55 power, 50 grade overall….. 24 in April
Outside of Scoutseyes I have never heard anyone who thinks Biggio is the better prospect. He is going to be 24 and has not touched AAA and really has 1 good season to his name.
Lets review their minor leauge numbers to date:
Biggio by age 23 # not a ranked prospect
1483 PA, 37 HR, 42 SB, .249 avg, .366 obp, .779 OPS
Played at AA at 23
Bichette by age 20 #11 prospect in all of baseball
1185 PA, 29 HR, 57 SB, .328 avg, .385 obp, .906 OPS
Made it to AA at age 20
And there you have it argument over lol
He’s fine as a bench player
He’s hair is starter quality though.
Hope you the best in Toronto. Was my favorite Padre.
Not a great bat for sure, but he is durable and an undeniably good defender at short. He and Vlad will do well together.
Interesting signing with an already packed infield. Likely not moving Gurriel….maybe shopping Travis or Drury?
nobody would trade for travis.
OPS+ of 88 last year, but WAR of 2.3 thanks to his defense. I’ll take that.
Thinking much the same. Having a steady presence at SS will be nice this year and should serve as a bit of cover for Vlad Jr as he continues to cut his teeth at 3B
Yeah, his glove is valuable; you don’t usually start a player every day for two seasons with his bat. He has also played a fair amount of second in his career and would obviously be useful there too. I also remember the Phillies playing him a bit in the outfield, even in center because he’s fast and has a strong arm, but after looking it up it’s only a handful of games.
Poor Galvis…. Phillies, and now Padres fans, can attest to this: Galvis is just one of those guys you’d love to see play for a winning team. Bad Phillies teams, Bad Padres teams, and now going to a bad blue jays team. Obviously the bat will never be his calling card, but I think it would at least play up a bit more if he were surrounded by a better lineup…. he batted #2 for the Padres! That’s how bad the lineup performed there. He belongs at #7 or #8… where he can make a little contact, maybe run into a homer every once in a while, but not be expected to “set the table” or “produce numbers” offensively. Toronto, you are getting a real gem here at the shortstop position with the glove. I was way… way… WAY against this trade for the Padres when we acquired him, giving up what is now one of the Phillies top pitching prospects (De Los Santos). And while I still think the trade was ridiculous for a rental of Galvis when the Padres weren’t competing anyways…. the way he plays the game; plays hard, smooth fielder, plays every day, doesn’t take plays off, great clubhouse and dugout guy, etc etc etc…. like I said in the beginning, he’s just one of those guys you wish could play for a contender, before it’s too late. Best of luck to him, thanks for the highlights in SD in a year filled with no other entertainment on the diamond
“Poor Freddie…”??? He chose to sign that contract. If he wanted to play for a winner he could have most likely accepted a contract for less money. I never feel sorry for someone making millions and choosing to play for a bad team.
“He chose to sign that contract”…. thank you for that insight. I was under the impression he was held at gunpoint to sign…. nobody cares who you feel sorry for or don’t feel sorry for. I simply pointed out that Galvis is a good, not great, player who plays the game the right way, for the right reasons, that has been a good leader and fan favorite everywhere he’s been…. so I feel sorry he has not had a chance to be on a winner. Example: I’d rather see a player like Galvis on a championship team than see Machado, Harper, or any of the other new age baseball divas.
But thank you for your input. Thanks to your brilliant insight, I now am aware that players choose to sign their contracts…
I think it would be better to yhe games best players on the games biggest stage as it is more exciting baseball.
And saying he “plays the right way” is meaningless and he plays for the same reason everyone else plays, the chance at making millions to play a kids game.
I share this sentiment … except one thing … I think De Los Santos will end up as a reliever. But yeah, Galvis is a good guy and a good defender.
I agree but 6 years of a reliever is still worth more than one year of an all-glove no-hit shortstop during a rebuilding year.
Time will tell…..1 year down 5 to go!
Nope. 6 to go. De Los Santos doesn’t even have a full year of service time yet.
Guess this is bad news for Eric Sogard.
Galvis signing wasn’t necessary for Toronto. Right contract, wrong team. No decent team wants Galvis or does he enjoy playing for 90-loss teams? I get what the Jays are doing here. Still, wasn’t necessary.
I’ll miss Freddy. One of my favorite players the Padres have had in their decade of being terrible.
Hard to believe the Pirates couldn’t find the money to sign him. They have 2 third basemen, neither can play SS. As a Cards’ fan I am glad he is in Toronto cause the guy is a player. Toronto fans will be pleased with his play.
The Pirates are too cheap to sign any free agent. I guess this leaves Iglesias as the last man standing that’s available for shortstop but the Pirates front office have made it clear that they are sticking with rookie Newman or unproven pickup from Cleveland Gonzales.
I enjoyed his play in SD…..best to you Freddy!
looks like Freddy didnt want to play for the bucs or nutting didnt want to pay. probably both…
You could make the argument that if they weren’t going to pay Jordy Mercer $4 million, why pay Galvis that? I think Galvis is overall more valuable to a team than Mercer, Im just saying that’s probably along the lines of what the Bucs were thinking. They had better be really, really sure about Erik Gonzalez, but Hechevarria is still out there if they want to bring him back as insurance.
Gonzalez can hit a little, but hasn’t been a SS a lot. He doesn’t steal bases, has no pop, and doesn’t grade out as an above average SS. Hard to see how is a compliment to the Pirate lineup. He is 27 and hasn’t been able to crack much playing time in the Bigs. Granted he was blocked at SS, but projects as a pretty could utility guy, lots of versatility, but as an everyday SS his history doesn’t support a lot of success.
Iglesias is still out there but the Pirates won’t pay what he’s asking. The Bucs are also probably looking for a one year contract to fill shortstop until Cole Tucker is ready. Unlikely that a FA suits going to want a one year contract.
Iglesias is still out there but the Pirates won’t pay what he’s asking. The Bucs are also probably looking for a one year contract to fill shortstop until Cole Tucker is ready. Unlikely that a FA is going to want a one year contract.
Enjoyed his year in SD, but kind of disappointed he didn’t want to return just to sign a 1 year deal with an option for another team. I don’t know what the Padres offered (if anything), but I imagine they would have rather given him what they gave Kinsler.
I enjoyed watching Freddy at shortstop all year in a Padre uniform im sure Blue Jay fans will love him
Gonna go out on a limb (though it’s absolutely feasible) and say that Galvis will have a higher WAR than Tulo this season.
Who cares? Jays aren’t in the business of contending. From a business perspective they’re paying $20-mil for Tulo to play for a division rival and paying Galvis $4-mil to play part time. And yet WAR matters to a 4th place team? Yeah, way to go out on a limb there….
But are they in the business of misery?
I think tulo was a bite of a cancer. They wanted him out of the club house.
Only reason this really makes sense is to help the young pitchers with his defense.
That’s the ONLY reason?! Wow. You fail.
I don’t know I don’t like how he’ll be taking time from Gurriel, Drury, and potentially Bichette but who knows maybe he’ll be a pretty valuable utility piece. It also seems like he was pretty well liked in his previous cities so maybe it’s not terrible.
Mendoza Line 215
I do not know much about Toronto but to my mind they are getting a good fielding mediocre hitting veteran shortstop who will help with the young players.If his playing time stops during the year,they could trade him by July 31,or keep him,and just not pick up the option.
I think that the price is reasonable,and a good signing for both the player and the team.
The Blue Jays know that they are not contending but are willing to pay for a decent player so that they have depth and are not terrible.
Good for them.
Why would you want to rush Bichette? If you think he is ready, perhaps, as much as Vlad may be then you are sorely mistaken. Gurriel needs a vet to show him how to field better at short and become a pro. Galvis checks both boxes and can provide on field direction to all the youngsters. And, ABs and playing time should be earned. Gurriel needs to really work on the glove. Drury needs to become more consistent and also stay healthy. Galvis is an excellent pickup for the Jays.
JDGoat is on to something here. The Galvis signing seems off. Why would he come to Toronto? Seriously think about that for a minute. Is it for money? Possibly. I believe he’s been told he can be a starter on the team. Will it be 2B? Will it mean Vlad will not come up until June? Don’t think that can’t happen. Will Galvis be traded at midseason? Only if he’s had sufficient playing time to warrant his services.
Despite what Galvis brings to the table, this particular Jays team does not need Galvis. Sogard would have been fine as the utility player along with Drury. The goal in 2019 is develop the young players. Galvis is not one of them or part of the process regardless of mentorship.
always liked Freddie, can hit a dinger occasionally, but yes, he has a fantastic glove. maybe he’ll raise his stock a bit up north.
Wish you the best Galvis!
Those kids in Toronto now have a great example. This guy is the ultimate professional
Nice pick up for Toronto, loved watching his glove in San Diego. Best wishes for Galvis!
Padres infield is empty. Reminds me of shopping at Sears
Padres infield is empty. …
So is your skull.
That trade was so very very bad. Padres now officially gave up Enyel de los Santos for nothing.
Splitting time with Gurriel and hitting down in the order…. I’ve got no problem with that as a Jays fan
More losers for a loosing franchise.
Veteran inf, 29yrs “old”
He has over six years of MLB service. I am legitimately confused at this complaint.
I don’t think it was a compliment as much as it was probably Sir Becks feeling old himself. I don’t think it was a critique on you Jeff.
I don’t think it was a comolaint as much as it was probably Sir Becks feeling old himself. I don’t think it was a critique on you Jeff.
ffs I give up. I think you know what I meant.
Mendoza Line 215
I am 65 and I read Sir Becks post the same way as Ellisburks.
Oh,to be 29 again!
Fair enough. Apologies to Sir Becks if I misunderstood … like I said, I was legit confused.
And at 36 years of age, writing about younger guys who are aging out of the game, I feel ya.
happy he’s going to my second favorite team. what a cool guy and baseball player.
Good middle infield depth pickup. Hope he can adjust to the carpet, but he should be a good mentor to Gurriel. I expect he’ll get ample time at second too, based on Travis’ history.
The infield is dirt…
Wow, what a good signing for the Jays. I like Galvis. Good player. Fun to watch play.
Question is why do the Jays want him? Unless there is another move coming? Urena can play at the big league level, a healthy Travis and Drury can too. Gurriel Jr is a very good player that has even more upside.
There’s got to be another move coming.
And where are the elite pitchers coming from? How about signing some of them? Oh yeah they only had $4M to spend for another infielder. Sarcasm heavy.
This team is likely to star the 2019 season 5-20 with this pitching staff.
Since when can Urena play at the big league level?
Depends Coldbeer….starter or bench player? Starter no, bench yes.
He cannot hit MLB pitching, his glove has disappointed along with his range from short. Cannot play at MLB level.
If Cliff Pennington could last in the MLB, Urena can play in the MLB. John McDonald’s range at SS wasn’t the greatest and everyone loved his play.
Utility players don’t hit. If they could, they’d start.
This is such a smart move. Fills some of the lead-by-example they lost in the Martin trade. He’ll get every chance to start at 2B or fill in at SS as needed. Travis cant stay healthy and seemingly lost his hit tool last year. Gurriel will love having this guy around to help improve his fielding and overall professionalism.
And Detroit paid the same for Mercer :(. Probably could have resigned Iggy for this amount if they had not been in such a rush.
Great guy. Fun to watch. Positive influence. Huge house in Clearwater (relevance?).
Cool. So they’re spending $24M on shortstops this year, and are projected to get a whopping .680 OPS out of it.
Red herring. Down vote.
stansfield is right. And it’s something Jays fans choose to ignore.
As long as he’s just the backup infielder (which I’m sure he will be), I think it’s a good move. If a contender is hurting for a shortstop at the trade deadline, they might could even trade him. We still have Sogard who we could use as the utilitiy IF if Galvis gets traded. It’s not like we’re trying to win this year or next anyway, so we might as well stockpile as many prospects as we can.
1) A great attitude/clubhouse guy
2) Fun to watch for the fans
Realistically not a great everyday player on a team trying to win right now, but a great fit for a rebuilding team looking for stability.
Sally- if you read this things he can throw the leather. Great clubhouse presence .