The Cincinnati Reds picked up shortstop Freddy Galvis off of waivers on Monday afternoon from the Toronto Blue Jays. I dove into some of the positives and negatives in the linked piece over at Redleg Nation. Short version: Galvis is an upgrade to the roster, but also shouldn’t be viewed as an “answer” to the starting shortstop position.
There’s an argument to be made right now as to whether Freddy Galvis is better than Jose Iglesias. Whichever way you want to lean is fine. Both of these guys are upgrades on Jose Peraza. So what does the pick up of Freddy Galvis mean for the Cincinnati Reds? Let’s speculate.
What I hope that the move means is that the days of thinking that Jose Peraza is an every day option are over. This season has watched him be one of the worst hitters in baseball. The 25-year-old has one more walk than you, the reader, since May 27th. You read that correctly – Jose Peraza has walked 1 time in the last 54 games he’s played in. He’s going to be 26-years-old next year. The hopes that he’d cut down on his “swing zone” just don’t seem to be reasonable anymore. He’s never walked. And when he was young, you could believe things would change with experience and maturity. Nothing’s changed. He swings at anything thrown plateward.
That’s not to say that Jose Peraza should be cut or released, or even traded. There’s value with Peraza. He’s capable of playing shortstop, second base, and all three outfield spots. He’s a good option as a pinch runner. His value is as a utility player. Planning on him being an every day player without a dramatic, unexpected change in how he goes about hitting, seems silly. It’s based on hope and want rather than reality or projection.
What bringing in Freddy Galvis also does is give the Reds an option for 2020. What I hope it doesn’t do is give them the idea that they don’t need to look for a true upgrade at shortstop for 2020. The upside for Freddy Galvis as an every day player is a fringe-average starting shortstop who hits for power and can’t get on base. That’s a solid backup plan, and one you like to have. But it shouldn’t stop the Reds from going into their meetings in October and November trying to figure out an actual upgrade at the position.
What else I hope that it doesn’t mean is less playing time for Josh VanMeter. He should be playing more than he is getting a chance to now. The upside with VanMeter far outweighs the upside for any of the other middle infield options right now in Galvis, Peraza, or Iglesias. While VanMeter can play some outfield, too, second base is where he should be at least five times a week.
For some reason he’s been platooning since joining the Reds. The 24-year-old had an OPS of 1.209 in Triple-A this year against left-handed pitching. There is no reason that a team that seems to be so focused on analytics should just refuse to play him against left-handed pitching. There’s a difference between Triple-A and the Majors, for sure. But let him actually show you that he can’t hit them before deciding it for him. Especially when the other options are Jose Peraza, Freddy Galvis, Jose Igleisas, or Kyle Farmer. With all due respect to those guys, they’ve proven what they are.
Picking up Freddy Galvis was absolutely the right move for the Reds. It was smart. And it costs them at worst $2M ($1M this year, $1M buyout if they don’t want to keep him after the year). I just hope that it doesn’t really change much moving forward when it comes to plans for 2020. As a fallback option, Freddy Galvis makes sense. As the option, it’s a problem.