Posted on December 15, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The San Diego Padres have been busier than usual during the early part of the offseason. What’s more surprising is that unlike past years, the Padres are adding players for the present and not selling for the future. On Friday, San Diego swung a trade to acquire shortstop Freddy Galvis from the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s a one-for-one trade with the Phillies receiving pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos.
The 28-year old Galvis has spent the last three seasons serving as Philadelphia’s primary shortstop. He took over the job after Jimmy Rollins left the Phillies following the 2014 season. He’s never really taken off offensively. But he’s shown surprising amounts of power the past couple of years. Galvis hit 20 home runs in 2016 and followed it up with 12 homers this past season. He’s coming off arguably the best offensive season of his career, hitting .255 with an OPS of .690.
Of course, Galvis is more known for his defense. A Gold Glove still eludes him. But there’s little doubt that Galvis has been one of the top defensive shortstops in the National League over the past three seasons. He’s known for his strong arm and ability to make dazzling plays in the field.
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Galvis is expected to take over as San Diego’s everyday shortstop in 2018. However, it’s important to note that Galvis doesn’t necessarily represent a long-term answer for the Padres. Galvis is entering his final year of arbitration and will be a free agent after the 2018 season.
However, the Padres acquiring a shortstop with one year of team control is by design. San Diego has a pair of shortstop prospects in Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr. who finished last season in double-A. The Padres are hoping at least one will be ready to take over as the regular shortstop by 2019. Urias is a little closer to being ready while Tatis has the higher upside.
Meanwhile, the Phillies were willing to move Galvis in order to create space in a crowded infield. Prospect J.P. Crawford is viewed as Philadelphia’s shortstop of the future. After Crawford came up late last season, the Phillies may be ready to make him their opening day shortstop in 2018. The fact that Galvis has been traded is a big vote of confidence in Crawford’s favor.
There was also some consideration given to trading Cesar Hernandez and moving Galvis to second base. But teams in the market for a second baseman appeared unwilling to meet the asking price for Hernandez, who is a more valuable player than Galvis. The Phillies can now expect to see Crawford and Hernandez as their middle infield tandem for many years to come.
The Phillies also add an interesting pitching prospect as part of the trade. De Los Santos slots in as Philadelphia’s no. 9 prospect, according to MLB.com. He posted a 3.78 ERA at double-A last season working mostly as a starter. He has the upside of a mid-rotation starter and may only be a year or so away from being ready for the majors.
If De Los Santos pans out, the Phillies could end up major winners in this trade. They had little use for Galvis this season, and so trading him one year before free agency is no big loss. The Padres, meanwhile, get a defensively brilliant shortstop, but only for one year. Galvis will be a fine placeholder until San Diego’s top prospects are ready. But he doesn’t make the Padres markedly better in 2018.