The Toronto Blue Jays signed infielder Freddy Galvis to a one-year contract with a club option for 2020, the team announced Tuesday.
To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Danny Barnes has been designated for assignment.
Galvis signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 2006 – he was just 16 years old. From there, he would work his way up the organizational ranks. He would make his major-league debut in 2012 and play 58 games that season, slashing .226/.254/.617 with three home runs and 24 RBIs.
He spent six seasons in Philadelphia before being traded to the San Diego Padres in December 2017 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Enyel De Los Santos.
In his lone season in San Diego, Galvis hit .248/.299/.380 with 31 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs, and 67 RBIs.
The infielder is one of the surest gloves that the league has to offer. He played the most defensive games at shortstop last season and finished second in putouts by a shortstop (222) and fifth in assists for any position (408). He’s had the best fielding percentage in the National League over the past two seasons and finished with a 2.3 WAR last year.
Galvis is also one of the most durable players in the league. He’s only missed four games combined over the past three seasons – all of those came in 2016. He played in every game in both 2017 and 2018.
With the Blue Jays, he’ll be able to provide a great defensive option off the bench, as well as a player who can fill into different positions. Galvis will likely be employed in a utility role behind Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Devon Travis.
With middle infielders Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Kevin Smith, and Jordan Groshans in the top 10 among Jays prospects, the organization needs some stopgap players to bridge the gap until they’re ready.
The 29-year-old fits that mold perfectly. He can bring real value to the lineup, and if he has a solid 2019, then the Jays can bring him back for another year in 2020.