The Cincinnati Reds have claimed shortstop Freddy Galvis off of waivers. This was first reported by Shi Davidi of SportsNet.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) August 12, 2019
Freddy Galvis has played 103 games for the Toronto Blue Jays this season at shortstop. He’s played another five at second base, and five more as their designated hitter. The 29-year-old middle infielder has been a staple in the lineup for Philadelphia, San Diego, and Toronto for the last five seasons. This season has been his best offensive year of his career.
There are some things to like with Freddy Galvis. First, he’s a true defensive shortstop. That in itself has value. Second, he’s starting to show a different level of power than he has in the past. He’s slugging .444 this year, which is easily a career best. In 473 plate appearances he’s hit 24 doubles, tripled, and hit 18 home runs. Those are the good things.
But there’s a reason that Freddy Galvis was available on waivers, too. He’s got a career on-base percentage of .291. Over the last three seasons it’s been .309, .299, and .299. He simply doesn’t get on base with any sort of frequency. He never has. He’s been in the big leagues, and played in at least 43 games every year since 2012. Only twice has his on-base percentage topped .300 and it’s never topped .309.
On paper, Freddy Galvis looks like a quality bench player. He can cover you around the infield defensively, and at shortstop he’s a quality back up option. Off of the bench he can also provide some pop. The Reds will have a decision to make on him following the season. He’s got a team option for the 2020 season. To keep him around it will cost $5.5M. If they let him walk it will cost them $1M.
The Reds will be losing Jose Iglesias to free agency after this season. That left their only option before today for the shortstop position as Jose Peraza. Bringing in Galvis gives them another potential option for 2020 if they choose to keep him around. Being able to see what he can do in a new league and new ballpark could be of value. That said, Rogers Center in Toronto is every bit as hitter friendly, if not more than Great American Ballpark is. Don’t expect the power to play more because of the switch in ballparks.