The Cincinnati Reds hold a 1-year, $5.5M option on infielder Freddy Galvis for the 2020 season. Galvis came over on waivers in mid-August and mostly played second base for Cincinnati down the stretch. Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that the Reds will indeed pick up the option.

Update at 12:55pm on November 1st

The Reds made it official, announcing that they indeed have picked up the option on Freddy Galvis. The original story continues below.

The move isn’t entirely unexpected. It’s not much money, and they would have had to buy out the option for $1M to decline it. So picking it up only costs the team $4.5M. In 2019 Freddy Galvis hit .260/.296/.438 with 28 doubles, a triple, and a career best 23 home runs in 147 games played. For Cincinnati he hit just .234/.284/.411 in 32 games.

With Galvis there’s some give and take going on. He’s a good defender at shortstop and second base. And there’s some pop in his bat. But he also has some swing and miss to his game and doesn’t get on base – his career on-base percentage is just .291.

For Cincinnati, though, the move makes plenty of sense. Jose Iglesias is now a free agent. That leaves the Reds with options to play shortstop between Jose Peraza, and, well no one, unless they picked up the option on Freddy Galvis.

The free agent market is quite bare when it comes to shortstops, too, with only Didi Gregorius looking like an actual starting caliber player among the entire group (sans Iglesias). That doesn’t mean the team won’t look toward the trade market, or even not look at Gregorius or Iglesias for 2020. But it does give them a fallback plan if those things don’t work out. And you could do a lot worse than having Freddy Galvis as your fallback option at shortstop.

Also, in case you missed it late on Thursday afternoon, the Reds traded for outfielder Travis Jankowski. He had spent his career with the San Diego Padres – seeing action in the Major Leagues in each of the last five seasons. Cincinnati sent the Padres international cap space to complete the deal.

43 Responses

  1. AirborneJayJay

    Boo. And that isn’t Halloween related. Both moves today were mostly unnecessary. I would have rather had Billy Hamilton back in that 26th man capacity. He could finally be that late inning spark on the base paths for a playoff seeking Reds team in 2020.

  2. BigRedMike

    Galvis had a 4.8% BB rate and his highest SO % at 24.6%. 1.4 WAR. Career wRC+ of 79 and significantly lower Defensive WAR in the past 2 seasons.

    Signings like this makes one wonder how the Reds always have losing seasons. Just don’t understand how the Reds expect to compete at a high level with players like Galvis

  3. Ed

    I was bummed to learn he’s been suspended for steroid use in the past few years. Lame. barely an improvement over Iglesias but more power I suppose. Lame Reds news today.

  4. JB

    Awesome. They couldn’t score runs in 2019 so they resign a guy with a well below league average OBP. I would have paid him the million and taken the chance with somebody else. So far two crappy moves to the off season.

  5. Curt

    Why commit to this now? Was there a “do by” date I’m unaware of?

  6. TR

    The Reds are not wasting any time in dealing with centerfield and shortstop.

  7. GreatRedLegsFan

    Not precisely the expected kind of moved, wasted money.

  8. BigBill

    I know this isn’t a particularly sexy move but what does everyone see as options??? Didi is coming off a very down year and injury and will cost double and probably closer to triple the cost with little to know better stats. I like the move as it gets you a fixed cost for a solid player that can play short if nothing better materializes.

    • BK

      If the Reds address SS, I expect it to be via a trade. I think Jonathan Villar from Baltimore should be a good target: good OBA, good power, switch hitter and average defense at SS. With only one year left of arbitration, he will command only a modest prospect(s) in return. Of course, if Seager or Lindor become available … pounce!

    • Doc

      You don’t have to take a bad option just because there are only bad options available.

      • BigBill

        Actually you kind of do. Going into the year with no ss would leave you at the mercy of every agent and other GM.

  9. BK

    This is a solid and expected move. I anticipate Galvis ends up in a bench role for the Reds. He’s defensively versatile, is a true switch hitter, has some pop in his bat and overall has a high floor. He’s the kind of quality depth strong teams have to weather inevitable injuries. As a starter, he’s a #8 hitter on a good team. The Reds need to avoid having multiple #8 hitters on the 2020 squad. To make that happen, they will still need to upgrade at either C or SS.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      That’s precisely Reds’ current roster problem, just too many 8th hole hitters, perhaps all of them just excluding Suarez, Votto and Aquino.

      • BK

        Couldn’t agree more … I look forward to seeing that problem addressed in the offseason.

  10. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I can understand this, like you said, if anything as a fallback plan. But, that’s the point. It’s plan B, not plan A.

  11. Bob Purkey

    If he is the back up plan, why $5.5MM for a back up? If he is the starter, with a career .291 OBP…. Yikes!

    • DocProc

      This. Makes no sense to pay a backup 5.5 million. Blandino could fill this role for a tenth the price. And a higher OBP.

      • Jefferson Green

        Blandino may end up being better as a hitter, but that is as yet unproven in the majors. Galvis is a better fielder and known as a good presence in the clubhouse. As a back up, he is fine.

  12. Hotto4Votto

    I don’t mind this move. In my mind there’s very little difference between resigning Iglesias or picking up Galvis’ option. I believe Iglesias had a ML salary around 2.5m last season. Probably would have taken a little more to resign him early in the offseason. For the money difference I can see why the Reds chose this path. Iglesias may hit for average a little better, Galvis clearly has more power. Neither moves the needle much, but options are extremely limited to upgrade at SS. Hopefully this is just a fallback plan for depth and SS/2B will be addressed down the line.

  13. Alex

    Solid move. Not many .296 obp guys out there. Can’t wait till they pay Peraza arbitration money. Great start to their 76 win season next year.

  14. redsfanhelpme

    “So picking it up only costs the team $4.5M”

    Really!? They can’t use that money elsewhere?

  15. Stiv

    The negativity on here is astounding. the World Series hasn’t been over for 48 hours. Lets take a breath and see what happens. If they went out and signed Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Yasmani Grandal. Traded for Francisco Lindor and Cody Bellinger some of you would still complain. If there needle hasn’t moved in the right direction in a couple of months then start screaming. Have a little patience, its early.

    • Ed

      Actually. No- I think you’re exaggerating a little bit man. I’m gonna go on record that Bauer was the wrong goal at the last deadline, and I am waiting for just one move since last offseason that shows anything that is going to impact at the MLB level. They’re setting up a new framework for their minor league teams, no coaches, etc. that means they need to deal, spend, and go big with actual contenders that will contribute to a playoff run.

    • greenmtred

      I’ve often said what you just said, but I’m worn down, now. The Reds make small moves to address weaknesses (yes, there are exceptions) and the weaknesses remain. This has been true for years. I could be persuaded that they’ve changed their stripes, but it’s going to take a lot.

  16. Doc

    How does one conclude that you could do a lot worse than Freddy Galvis at SS when his career OBP is .291. You could have doubled Jose Iglesius’ salary and picked up far better defense, 30-60 points on BA just comparing 2019 and depending upon whether you use Reds only or full year.

    Iglesius was criticized because he didn’t walk enough; Galvis walks 4.8%. Multiple Reds hitters were criticized because they struck out too much; Galvis is over 20%. Iglesius was praised for his defensive wizardry up the middle; never heard Galvis mentioned in the same defensive breath.

    The statement should have been, it seems, ‘you could NOT have done a lot worse than Galvis’.

    • jon

      Jose will cost more and had a career yr. at the plate in 2019. Pass.

      • JB

        Yeah Jon and 20 + other teams couldn’t wait to get their hands on Galvis if the Reds let him go. There was no need in signing him now. He would still be there in January. The guy is a bench player making 4.5 million. But he has some pop people!! Its a homer or nothing. Thsts exactly what the Reds need. Lmbo

      • TR

        Injuries happen, which we know. But I have visions of Manager Bell penciling in Galvis too often next season as the starting shortstop or second baseman. I know he has grit, although it’s not Cardinal grit. The Reds have signed a number of young shortstops, including international signings, in the last 4 or 5 years and we hear very little about them. Seems to me the best of the bunch could be the backup instead of Galvis.

    • BigBill

      Jose might. Might be available in free agency. Galvis is a perfect backup or a very good fielder that has power. Excellent 7th or 8th hitter. Get Grandal and he fits in perfect as you upgrade the black hole of hitting which is our catchers.

  17. AirborneJayJay

    The Reds front office said they were going after hitters in this off-season. They trade for an anemic bat in Jankowski. Now they pick up the option on Galvis. Galvis hit a blistering .234/.284/.411/.696 with an OPS+ of 76 for his time with the Reds in 2019. Galvis torched September to the tune .143/.234/.262/.496.
    Going to go Get the Hitting.
    On Halloween Day and Trick or Treat Day, Reds fans got severely tricked by the Reds front office. This is the equivalent of finding toilet paper all over your front yard and trees. The Reds front office slipped a big ole banana up the Reds fans tailpipe on this day. And it was all so unnecessary.

    • IndyRedsFan

      I’ll second the comment from Stiv above about the incredible negativity on the part of some of you “fans”.

      The off-season has just begun. There will be more moves. Take a deep breath and relax.

      If Jankowski and Galvis are the only moves they’ve made by the start of spring training….THEN is a reasonable time to complain.

      • AirborneJayJay

        My man, after SIX straight years of losing records, “patience” are for doctor office waiting rooms.
        Point #2, this is the Cincinnati Reds front office we are talking about. Not a group known for putting together quality rosters. Ergo, the angst.

      • Doug Gray

        The team literally can’t make real moves yet. No one is making real trades on November 1st. No one is even eligible to sign in free agency on November 1st.

        So, my man, have some actual patience. There’s literally nothing that the team can do at this point. Complain in mid-January if nothing’s been done. To complain on November 1st is crazy.

      • BK

        Patience is a virtue … patients see doctors. FA market has not even opened. Galvis is a fine backup. Jankowski is a depth piece as insurance against Senzel not being ready to start the season following his time as an orthopedic patient w/shoulder surgery. We need patience.

  18. Tanner

    Everyone understands that no much movement can happen until November 4th right? The only options that they have right now are FA that were on the team. They are taking care of depth issues right now and hopefully taking care of the bigger issues when they are actually allowed to. Relax, it’s November 1st.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Reds need guys that get on base and have power.Galvis has power with a low OBP.Iggy and Peraza don’t get on base either and have no power.It was a no brainer to me if you need to keep one of them.His defense is good enough but nobody has said he will be the starter so lets wait and see what happens.

  20. doofus

    If the Reds had not taken Galvis’ option some on this board would have erupted that we have no SS! Chill, fellows, it is early.

  21. Jefferson Green

    This move says that the Reds are willing to spend 5.5 million to upgrade the roster (from Peraza, the only possible everyday SS on the current roster). If they indeed can land a bigger fish – probably in a trade – it will take a while; they had to decide on Galvis now. If they do get better options, they trade Galvis and recoup part of the salary (perhaps not 100%, but it would reduce their expense. Good move. For now.