After an extremely active November, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto entered December with a handful of goals. This week, he has addressed 2 of the goals but one big one remains: finding a veteran shortstop.
The Mariners landed the RHH bat they have been seeking, trading Ben Gamel to Milwaukee for Domingo Santana. They also added Zach Rosscup on a deal to help bolster the bullpen. While there is still work to be done in the bullpen, the next big item on the agenda is finding a shortstop.
While Dipoto sees J.P. Crawford as the Mariners shortstop of the future, that future may not begin until the middle of 2019. As such, Seattle is in the market for a veteran placeholder to handle the duties. In a perfect world, the players would sign a short-term deal and be good enough to recoup a prospect or two at the trade deadline. Enter Freddy Galvis.
The former Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres infielder, Galvis is a 29-year-old who is entering free agency for the first time. A switch-hitter, Galvis has been a below-average bat in his career, posting a career .247/.290/.374 slash with a 77 wRC+ (100 is average).
However, Galvis does have pop in the bat, averaging 15 home runs over the past 3 seasons, and a nice base-runner, capable of stealing 10-15 bases in a full-season.
Defensively, Galvis is a solid, albeit unspectacular, shortstop. He flashes above-average range but is too inconsistent to trust long-term at the position for any contender. He also has experience at 2B, 3B, LF, and CF.
He is primarily a shortstop, although can serve as a decent utility infielder if he sticks around in Seattle for all of 2019. He plays a veteran leadership role for the young Crawford and could have value on the bench or in the trade market come July.
All of these factors make Galvis a surprisingly good target for several teams, but with many contenders settled at shortstop, Galvis may be forced to take a below-market deal to start 2019. Using the old $7 million per win above replacement formula, Galvis is worth somewhere between $8-$10 million on a one-year deal.
A veteran infielder who can provide value to the Mariners in many ways is high on Jerry Dipoto’s wish list. If the market falls Seattle’s way, a vet like Freddy Galvis makes a lot of sense.