Infielder Freddy Galvis makes no secret about his desire to return to the Phillies in an interview with Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As Breen explores, Galvis had an immediate impact on the clubhouse and team morale and was generally beloved and viewed as a veteran leader — both by teammates who’d played with him during his original run with the club and by newcomers who knew little of Galvis before the Phils acquired him from the Orioles this past July. Fellow utilityman Brad Miller tells Breen he was caught by surprise to see the clubhouse excitement after the trade was announced, but he quickly understood why. “It’s the epitome of being a pro,” Miller said. “Like we say it all the time, ‘That guys a pro’ or ‘He’s a good teammate’ or ‘He’s a winner.’ All these little terms. That’s what it comes down to when you’re a major-league baseball player is having those traits. He’s prepared for everything.”
Galvis wouldn’t be a candidate to start for the Phillies, but he could serve as a versatile infield piece and perhaps a bridge to prospect Bryson Stott — if the Phillies don’t pursue one of the higher-profile names on the free-agent market this winter. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski plainly acknowledged the need to improve at shortstop after the season and said veteran Didi Gregorius is not assured the starting job in 2022.
More out of Philly…
- Newly hired hitting coach Kevin Long is already headed to the Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, Fla., where he’ll get an early start on working with Alec Bohm, writes Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly. Bohm, 25, looked well on his way to cementing himself as a mainstay in the heart of the Phillies’ order in 2020 when he hit .338/.400/.481 in 180 plate appearances as a rookie. He mustered only a .247/.305/.342 slash in 417 trips to the plate this season, however, and eventually found himself optioned to Triple-A. Long, previously the hitting coach for the Yankees, Mets and Nationals, notes that young players are “really, really important to big-market teams,” as they can offset the cost of high-priced free agents and arbitration-eligible players. Long calls Bohm “one of the best hitters in the league in 2020” and suggests that Bohm “is a big part of the Philadelphia Phillies and us winning a championship.” Dombrowski acknowledged at season’s end that Bohm probably won’t win any Gold Gloves at the hot corner (link via 97.3 ESPN) but can be a bat-first option for the team moving forward. “His key is he has to hit. If he hits well enough, you’ll live with the defensive aspect of it,” said Dombrowski.
- Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia took a look at the Phils’ upcoming arbitration class earlier this week, opining that Odúbel Herrera, Ronald Torreyes, Travis Jankowski, Roman Quinn and Andrew Knapp might all be cut loose this winter. None of Torreyes, Jankowski, Quinn or Knapp would cost much to bring back, but everyone in that group comes with performance and/or durability question marks. The Phils hold an $11.5MM club option on Herrera’s services for next season that comes with a $2.5MM buyout. Even if they decline the option, the Phillies could retain Herrera via arbitration, but his projected $11.6MM arb salary isn’t any more affordable (projections via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz). That indeed seems like a steep price for a player who hit a fine but unspectacular .260/.310/.416 over 492 plate appearances this past season. Herrera underperformed early in the 2019 season, then was suspended for the remainder of that year after violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. He didn’t play in 2020, but the Phillies brought him back to the majors in late April this year.