A report by The New York Post’s Kevin Kernan named Galvis as a potential replacement for injured Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, if Gregorius’ injury is serious enough to keep him out of action for the foreseeable future.
Kernan noted that, if the injury is minor, New York would likely just plug their backup middle infielder, Ronald Torreyes, into Gregorius’ spot. Or they could move one of their prospect depth players, Tyler Wade, into that role until Gregorius is ready to return.
But if the injury is going to be a long term problem, Kernan thinks Galvis could be a potential solution.
The Yankees would probably hunt for a shortstop elsewhere — options from other teams could be someone such as White Sox middle infielder Carlos Sanchez or the Phillies’ Freddy Galvis. Both fit that bill because their teams have young shortstops on the move.
Galvis would make sense for a Yankees team that needs a one-year placeholder until their super prospect, Gleyber Torres, is ready. He impressed in Yankees camp (.464 batting average) this spring, but the 20-year-old has never played above Single-A. New York doesn’t want to rush him.
Here’s the problem. The Phils have a similar song playing right now with their own stud shortstop prospect.
Yes, J.P. Crawford is in Triple-A, but he is still just 22 years old and appears not to be quite ready for the big leagues just yet. While his plate discipline was decent last year for Lehigh Valley, his walk rate did drop from 18.1% in Reading to 10.9% with the Iron Pigs. He also hit .244/.328/.318 in 385 PAs in Triple A, with a wRC+ of only 90, although it should be noted he only has half a season under his belt and was the second-youngest player in the league for most of the time he was there.
And yes, spring training stats should largely be ignored, but he didn’t force the Phillies to reconsider putting him on the 25-man roster with his performance in Clearwater this month. In 12 games (29 PAs) there, he batted .207/.281/.241 for a .523 OPS.
Again, it’s spring training and it’s a small sample size, but it’s also why the Phils want to see him play a bit more in Lehigh Valley before calling him up. So if Crawford isn’t ready, and the Phillies did decide to move Galvis, who would become their everyday shortstop until Crawford was called up?
One possibility is their top man off the bench, Andres Blanco, who is currently their back-up shortstop. He’s fine as a fill-in, but can he play there everyday? Another option could be Jesmuel Valentin, who is already on the 40-man roster. He would be best served by playing second base every day for the Iron Pigs, and doesn’t have a ton of experience at shortstop.
As for Galvis, his struggles to get on base (.274 OBP, 4.0% walk-rate) are well documented, but he also hit a surprising 20 home runs last year, and was a finalist for the Gold Glove at shortstop. He would provide the Yankees with elite defense and some pop from the bottom of the order, either until Gregorius is ready to return later in the season or until Torres is ready for his big league promotion.
It’s easy to see why New York might want Galvis, who went deep in the Phils’ spring game against the Twins on Tuesday.
But unless the Yankees are willing to overpay, the timing for a Galvis-to-the-Bronx deal might not work for the Phils.