by Steve Mancuso

Report: Reds pick up $5.5 million Freddie Galvis option: Payroll implications

Per baseball writer Jon Heyman (not yet confirmed by the Reds):

If the report is accurate, the Reds have made their first significant roster decision for 2020 by picking up shortstop Galvis’ option costing $5.5 million. The Reds would have had to pay Galvis $1 million if they turned it down.

The Reds acquired Galvis off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays on August 12. He hit well for the Reds for the first two weeks, including four home runs. But over his last 66 plate appearances Galvis had just 6 hits. Galvis injured his knee on Sept. 14 and didn’t play again in 2019. Despite hitting 23 home runs, when you account for the rest of his offense, Galvis was 11% below average in run creation.

Galvis plays above-average SS and is a below average hitter. He could end up being the Reds everyday shortstop, everyday second baseman or utility infielder, depending on what other moves they make.

Payroll implications: The Reds have about $40 million to spend on new roster acquisitions above their current contracts and likely arbitration and pre-arbitration players. They just spent $5.5 million of that on Galvis.

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Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.


  • vegastypo

    Help me out here. They wouldn’t pay $5 million for a bench player, would they? So the only question is whether he would play shortstop or second base. If it’s second base, Senzel stays in center field. If it’s shortstop, that takes us out of the DiDi derby. (If we were ever in it.) So there is your No. 7 or No. 8 hitter, with Barnhart in the other spot.

    Gee, unless there is an offensive upgrade at catcher, the Reds would already have two weak spots in the batting order. Maybe Michael Lorenzen could pitch and bat seventh. Keep telling myself this is only the start of the offseason, only the start. But I’m not impressed.

    Not too certain why they needed to get Jankowski, either. Couldn’t you get a player of that caliber later in the offseason? Granted, the cost was minimal, if they had no plans to use the internation cap money anyway, but still …

    • Steve Mancuso

      My sense is they’re going to make big, big offensive moves this year. They’ll shoot high at several positions, including shortstop. They had to decide on the Galvis option now. Given that he can back-up both SS and 2B and the scarcity of better SS in free agency, picking up Galvis’ option is a plan that gives them flexibility to shop for the best deals. Willingness to spend on a player who may end up largely with a bench role is a good sign.

  • Craig Slater

    It looks like with Senzel’s injury history, Jankowski is the Reds insurance policy in CF. His defense seems good, but hitting is suspect. (A step up from Billy Hamilton). If the Reds are going to spend the money that Jose Iglesias will command, that money would be better spent on an upgrade is what I suspect is the Reds FO thinking. Your thoughts..