Shortstop remains a need for the Pittsburgh Pirates
The offseason has been off to a busy start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. So far, the team has made a pair of free agent signings by bringing back third baseman Jung Ho Kang and adding veteran outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall. Neal Huntington also added to the roster by added super utility man Erik Gonzalez, along with a pair of pitching prospects you can read more about here, in a five-team trade with the Cleveland Indians.
Despite the moves that have been made, shortstop remains a need for the Pirates. Gonzalez can play shortstop, as can fellow utility man Pablo Reyes, but neither project as every day MLB players. Rookie Kevin Newman is in the mix as well, but was underwhelming during his first taste of MLB action last season.
As Huntington and the Pirates look to address shortstop, it could be via trade or free agency. If the team decides to go the free agency route, slick fielding veteran Freddy Galvis could be a player they turn their attention to.
After spending the first six seasons of his MLB career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Galvis was traded to the San Diego Padres last offseason. During his one year in San Diego Galvis slashed .248/.299/.380 to go with a .294 wOBA, 85 wRC+, and an ISO of .133. Most of these numbers were down for Galvis, while his 22.4% strikeout rate was his highest since 2014.
Despite his offensive woes, Galvis turned in a strong defensive season. Galvis, who is known as a defensive specialist, posted a 3.3 dWAR while being responsible for +7 defensive runs saved at shortstop for the Padres in 2018.
Being a plus defender that struggles offensively has been the theme for Galvis throughout his MLB career. In his seven MLB seasons he owns a .246/.290/.374 slash line to go with a .287 wOBA, a wRC+ of 77, and an ISO of .128. However, his lifetime 53.1 dWAR has led to his averaging 1.1 fWAR per season during his time in the Majors.
Even if Galvis were to just be the 1.1 fWAR player he has been throughout his career, this would still be an upgrade at shortstop for the Pirates. In four of his seven seasons with the team, 2018 includes, Jordy Mercer owned a fWAR less than 1.1.
While Galvis would not provide much offense for the Pirates, he would give the team one of the best defensive shortstops in the National League. He could also serve as a mentor for Newman whose defense needs a lot of work. Galvis can also play second base, third base, and the corner outfield positions. Due to this, if someone like Gonzalez or Newman took shortstop by the horns then Galvis could transition into a super utility role for the Pirates.