Another shortstop comes off the board. The Baltimore Orioles have signed shortstop Freddy Galvis to a one-year contract, the team announced. The Rep 1 Baseball client will receive $1.5MM with a $250K bonus if he is traded, per Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). There is not an option for a second year. First baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw was designated for assignment in order to open a roster spot for Shaw, per the club.
Galvis takes over at short for the recently-traded Jose Iglesias, another veteran whom the Orioles signed in free agency. Galvis has long been a starting shortstop in MLB, from his early days with the Phillies to last season with the Cincinnati Reds. He also played for the Blue Jays and Padres in his nine-year career. Durability has been a strength for Galvis. He achieved the rare-for-this-era achievement of appearing in all 162 games in back-to-back seasons with the Phillies in 2017 and Padres in 2018.
Last season with the Reds, Galvis slashed .220/.308/.404 with seven home runs, 8.2 percent walk rate, 18.9 percent strikeout rate and 90 wRC+. The switch-hitting Galvis is largely considered a solid defensive option up the middle. By measure of Statcast’s outs above average, however, Galvis may wield an elite glove. Though he registered -3 OAA in the shortened 2020 season, he finished 8th among shortstops in 2019 with 11 OAA and tied for third with Andrelton Simmons and Francisco Lindor in 2018 with 12 OAA.
Galvis won’t help the Orioles a ton with his bat. He routinely logs below-average hard hit rates, barrel rates, and walk rates. He does a pretty good job of putting the ball in play, however, and his power has jumped a notch with .178 ISO and .184 ISO the past two seasons. He’s also not a burner, finishing in the 28th percentile by sprint speed in 2020. For the Orioles, however, they’ll hope Galvis provides defensive support to their young pitching staff and leadership in the clubhouse. Should he prove productive, he could also serve as a trade chip at the deadline, a possibility for which both player and team are clearly aware, given the trade clause in his contract.
Shaw’s time with the O’s, meanwhile, will apparently prove quite brief. Baltimore claimed him off waivers from the Giants back in late November, and he’ll now very possibly be exposed to waivers a second time. The 27-year-old was once the 31st overall draft pick by the prior San Francisco front-office regime, and he has a solid-looking .280/.328/.538 slash line in about 1000 plate appearances of Triple-A ball. Shaw, though, also has a 30 percent strikeout rate in Triple-A and hasn’t hit well at all in 82 big league plate appearances. The O’s have a week to trade him, release him or attempt to pass him through waivers themselves.