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.

34 Responses

  1. Justin

    It seems obvious that O’Grady goes down for now, but what happens when Deitrich and/or Casali come off the IL? Do they put Iglesias on waivers?

    I assume the Reds have been engaged with about every team regarding trading for a shortstop. Maybe this indicates that there won’t be much available. If that’s true, and we can’t win the bidding war on Didi, Galvis might just be our 2020 starting shortstop.

    • Billy

      I’m hoping that the Indians will decide to move Lindor to save money. I think a package built around India, Lodolo, and Greene could at least get talks started, but I assume that a 4th (probably very good) prospect would need to be included as well. Lindor at SS for 2020 and 2021 makes the Reds a contender. It would take a lot to get him, but I’d make the move and worry about 2022 and beyond later.

      • Colt Holt

        the only way I trade those three guys for Lindor is if I can trade Lindor to someone else for at least two prospects inside the top 50. This farm is getting depleted. That trade would leave it barren. And Lindor is a free agent after 2021. There will be some dark days on the near horizon if we continue trading every prospect for a short term deal.

  2. Billy

    Doug, how bullish are you on VanMeter and Aquino being the answers for 2B and RF next season? What are the chances that they’ll continue to perform the rest of this season, but then turn back into what they’ve always been when we hit 2020? Are they fundamentally different now from what their minor league history suggests, or is it possible that they’ve just caught lightning in a bottle?

    This team really needs to know if they need to upgrade those positions over the winter. The worst case scenario is one where they think that VanMeter and Aquino are the answers so they do nothing to upgrade those positions, and then they turn out to be wrong and waste 2020.

    • Doug Gray

      I’d feel confident penciling in VanMeter, right now. Aquino, I want to see more. As I said in the mailbag earlier today, I think he’s a lot closer to Adam Duvall than something more than that. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s also not something you shouldn’t be looking to improve upon, either. Maybe Aquino can be that BABIP outlier, and if so, that’s great. But counting on it is never a good idea until it’s long been shown, over several years in the Majors.

      • Jack

        The one thing Aquino has going for him over Dunn is defense. If Dunn had been interested in being a capable outfielder he would have been more tolerable.

  3. Bill

    For 2020, the Reds need to address shortstop, catcher and add some pitching. Galvis is a marginal upgrade at SS. As stated in your mailbag responses, Didi Gregorius is the best free agent available for the 2020 season. This year:

    – Galvis: .267/.299/.444, OPS+ 96
    – Gregorious: .262/.291/.439, OPS+ 91

    Both are similar in age (29 years old), defense (slight positive metrics) and can provide another LH bat in the lineup (Galvis being a switch hitter).

    Gregorious has the better track record, but is coming off a significant injury. Galvis has made slight year-over-year improvement for the last 4 seasons. The big difference is acquisition cost. The Reds can have Galvis through 2020 for about $6M. Gregorious will cost quite a bit more and will likely require a commitment that continues into his declining years. With Jose Garcia percolating in the minors, I think the Reds should focus on improving at catcher and adding depth to the pitching staff. Granted, maybe there is a trade to be made that won’t cost a king’s ransom in prospects, but we know Gregorious will cost more than Galvis–we don’t that he will outperform Galvis. This was a really shrewd move in my opinion.

    • Doug Gray

      Obviously with Gregorius you’ll want to check the medicals. But his history is better, and if you think he’s healthy, he’s the better option.

  4. Cguy

    Don’t see a lot of downside to this acquisition. A switch-hitting ss with some power gives the Reds more versatility. Perhaps the Reds have seen enough from Garcia this year to anticipate he can be an everyday ss by sometime early in 2021 season. Then they only need to “bridge the gap” with Galvis, Peraza, possibly Blandino, & yes, even some Kyle Farmer at ss. Plus they’ll have a glove man in Alf Rod @ Louisville. Signing a FA ss (J. Iglesias, D. Gregorius, etc or trading for Lindor , Story, etc. may not be necessary. Reds have obtained more viable options for 2020 then I can remember them having for many years.

    • Gaffer

      But for 5 yrs/100 million better vs 1/5.5 million? I see this Galvis pick up as a “trade” for Peraza as he will make 4 million in arbitration. At that price he should be non-tendered. Heck, you can get Iglesias back for 1.5 million I bet as your backup.

      • Gaffer

        I like this move too but Peraza should be the man out. I LOVE one year deals (his next year) to preserve flexibility.

        My play would be to also offer a qualifying offer to Wood. Then you move Mahle to the bullpen if he signs.

      • Brennan

        You realize the minor league deal he signed this year with the Reds is worth $2.5 million, right?

  5. Klugo

    I think the signing of Galvis marks the beginning of the end for Iglesias in a Reds uniform. Many have been hoping the Reds brass would extend Iglesias in the offseason. This move makes me think that is highly unlikely and they are prepping for that. Smart move, actually, imo
    . Galvis and Peraza will probably go into ST competing for the SS job and Galvis will probably win it. Peraza will head to the bench, where, yes, he can be a valuable asset. I don’t think there are great FA options at SS this offseason. So any major upgrade at that position would cost dearly in prospects. Not something I, for one, would necessarily want. This move hopefully will allow the Reds to narrow their focus on an OF bat and more pitching.

    • Klugo

      And, actually, if Aquino continues to produce at even half the rate he is right now, he could be that OF power bat That would allow the Reds to look into really galvanizing the pitching staff, as well as possible upgrades at C and, yes, maybe a DiDi return.
      I don’t get the feeling the Reds are in a hurry to move on past Barnhart though. He’s a tough leader, who has shown some OBP potential.

      • Justin

        I think we need to move past him as our #1 catcher. He’d be an amazing backup to a guy like Grandal…

  6. Haven

    I’m not sure how good his defense is but it will be nice having some pop at shortstop.

  7. Bill

    BTW, fantastic coverage today Doug (yes, you are really good everyday)! Today was exceptional analysis and one of your best mailbags–very insightful.

  8. Cguy

    Doesn’t matter whether Votto is 35 or 25- he had no chance to score on that play.

  9. Redsvol

    I love the move to Sign Galvis. I’d actually like to see us resign Iglesias too – he is a wizard at short and should come at reasonable price. Galvis can be utility and non-tender Peraza. Peraza will cost > 3M$ via arbitration next year – he isn’t worth that but Iglesias is. The team has a different vibe on defense when Iglesias is on the field.

    I love the idea to go after Grandal. He is the one free agent that could really help our line-up and he is well-regarded defensively too. I would rather go this route than go after Didi. Maybe add an outfielder too – boy, what a lineup we would have in 2020!

  10. gregmlb

    Not saying Senzel is a bust but he’s really not that impressive. Being ranked as a top 10 prospect he’s just kind of bla. Makes so much weak contact and never really drives the at all. Looks like we were duped thinking that he was going to be the Reds savior. Too bad they wasted the number 2 pick on him.

    • Doug Gray

      “Makes so much weak contact and never really drives the ball”

      On pace for a full season that would have 38 doubles, 8 triples, and 18 home runs…. He’s not going to be confused with Joey Gallo, but my man, come on. You’re talking about his power like he’s Jose Peraza or Billy Hamilton here. The power has tailed off a little bit in the last month….. but get real, Greg. Wasted the #2 pick on him? My goodness, man. Talk about unrealistic expectations and instant gratification needed.

    • donny

      I also want to throw this out there.
      First Senzel is playing just fine in his first half season of baseball in the bigs while battling some off and on injuries.
      I will also throw this out there.
      [While there is no facts to back it up].
      He plays CF and it is arguable that it is a position that can wear out the legs the most while chasing down fly balls. While catching it’s about the knees. These guys are in very good shape so it probably doesn’t have much bearing, but i know i would feel it in the legs even if i was in shape. Add in all the plane rides and long season for the first time in one’s career while playing a new position and being off and on injured it can wear you out.

    • Oldtimer

      Eric Davis struggled in 1984 and 1985 in his first two years as a Red. Then from 1986 to 1990 he was very VERY good. He started as INF but moved to OF in Reds MiLB system right away.

      Senzel has has a good rookie year. Pete Rose batted .273 in 1963 and was ROY. Tommy Helms batted .284 in 1966 and was also ROY. Senzel has been better than both as a rookie.

      He will be Reds CF for next decade.

    • Oldtimer

      Check out Barry Larkin rookie year in 1986. Senzel 2019 is comparable or better.

      August 13 (today) was Larkin’s MLB debut in 1985.

  11. SteveLV

    I think we’d have a pretty reasonable shot at signing Gregorius, in significant part because the typical big spenders don’t need a shortstop and neither do many contending, lesser spending teams. Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Indians, Twins, Astros, A’s, Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Padres are all clearly set at shortstop. A trade by any of those could shake things up a little, but it doesn’t look like Didi will be stepping into a sellers market.

  12. Jon Ryker

    They need to sign Iglesius to play SS, for the defense alone, but also for the style of play, and he’s perfectly useful offensively…..make contact…..handles the bat…..gets clutch hits.

    I assume Galvis is a backup if Iglesius wants too much.

    How is Van Meter’s defense? He doesn’t compare to either of those two…..

  13. Bill

    That play made me wish we could find a 3B coach on waivers. It’s happened too much this season.

  14. John Zeeman

    How anyone could dismiss Iglesias as the starting shortstop is beyond me. He’s outstanding defensively and has been as good with the bat as anyone on the team. Here’s hoping they can extend him.

    • Jefferson Green

      Iglesias has a great glove, no doubt. But he is 12% below league average as a hitter (wRC+ of 88) and 11 of his Reds teammates are producing better than he is. If he would sign again for backup money, I would think the Reds would do it in a heartbeat, but he may be trying for more on the open market.

  15. jbonireland

    Giving up Lodolo, Greene and India for two years of Lindor would be totally illogical.

  16. MBS

    I’m excited for Galvis, it gives the Reds a solid option in 2020. Counting on Peraza is a mistake, and it gives A Rodriguez more time to develop.

  17. Tv

    The only problem with paraza is bell. He was fine last year. He had a slow start and then bell tossed a 25 year old top prospect. The entire problem with our offense is playing time and platoons. GOOD TEAMS HAVE EVERYDAY GUYS! They never let anyone hit form the same side and he matches every time a pitcher changes. Then when he has 2 on in the 9th his bench is empty. Funny how our offense was great till bell destroyed it. Its Its insane what they have done to paraza and winker. Winker hit 300 total. Now he hits 250 and someone else hits 200. Ya tell me how those numbers work again. lol