Blue Jays: Unpacking the new signing of Freddy Galvis
At first glance, Freddy Galvis adds to the already complicated middle infield picture that the Blue Jays have on their hands. Where exactly does he fit in?
When Freddy Galvis was announced as the newest member of the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday afternoon, the most prominent question being asked by writers, fans and observers was: Why?
Sure, Galvis is a decent asset, nobody is arguing that. From 2016 to 2018, he slashed a decent .248/.295/.387 with 45 home runs, 195 RBI, 39 stolen bases and 86 doubles in 1943 plate appearances.
A sound defensive infielder and an experienced (yet still young) clubhouse presence, Galvis is now signed to a reasonable one-year deal that includes a team option for the 2020 season.
In short, he’s a solid, perhaps underrated player, who signed a deal that almost no one will perceive as overly lucrative. Still, why did the Blue Jays pull the trigger on bringing him in, especially when there seemed to be a pretty robust market for his services before Tuesday?
For starters, Galvis is the only player in all of baseball to have appeared in every single game of the 2017 and 2018 MLB seasons. Going even further, he suited up for 158 games in 2016 and 151 games in 2015.
Though durability is often overlooked when deciding which free agents to pursue, the fact that he can play all 162 games if needed is undoubtedly of some importance to a lineup starved of consistent innings from its core assets.
More prominently, Galvis shines with the glove, having been named a Gold Glove finalist in each of the past three seasons. With defensive metrics that far exceed those of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Brandon Drury and Richard Urena, he represents a significant defensive upgrade.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
With Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio likely not making their major league debuts until September (at the earliest), having someone hold down the fort up the middle is comforting as the new-look Blue Jays infield, hopefully composed of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rowdy Tellez, Gurriel, Bichette, Biggio and the complementary gloves of Drury and Devon Travis, gain their footing at the game’s highest level.
With Galvis, the first word that comes to mind is “stability”. Will he be with the team long-term? No. Will he consistently make highlight reels and blow fans away with an uncannily clutch bat? Probably not. Will he turn out to be a cost-effective, efficient stopgap? That’s the hope.
Most importantly, he could represent a potential deadline trade chip if he performs well in the first half of the 2019 season. With the reasonable option attached to his deal, he could be of some value to a contender down the stretch, especially considering that his premium position isn’t often one that is the centre of trade deadline speculation.
While fans and critics are likely to come up with endless reasons why this signing is frivolous and unnecessary, it is objectively not a massively impactful deal. If all goes wrong, the Blue Jays are only on the hook for a guaranteed $5 million.
If all goes right, they’ve added a solid glove who can carry the young core through what will surely be a puzzling and rocky 2019 season. We’ll just have to wait and see.