The Pittsburgh Pirates have one need on their lineup card that is obvious, shortstop. One of the options just came off the board.
Freddy Galvis has been a name that has been around the Pittsburgh Pirates most of this offseason. This was especially true at this past weekend at the PiratesFest when many fans asked if he could potentially be the team’s opening day shortstop for the 2019 season. The question was answered then by General Manager Neal Huntington who said that the team already had a player who could be just as good as Galvis if not better in Erik Gonzalez.
Well, it does not matter anyhow, as Freddy Galvis is not signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com has reported that the free agent shortstop has agreed to terms with the Toronto Blue Jays. He is signing for a relatively inexpensive deal, getting just $5 million guaranteed, with a $4 million salary with an option for 2020 which is worth $5.5 million, and he also which can be bought out for $1 million.
This obviously should have been very affordable for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Galvis is a proven veteran who has a below average bat and has rated as both a positive and negative fielder at times. The only real reason he has been connected to the Bucs, other than being one of the better free agents at the shortstop position, is because George King of the New York Post reported that the Bucs were interested. Here is what King said back in the middle of December:
"“According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Pirates — who lost shortstop Jordy Mercer to the Tigers on Friday when he signed a one-year deal for $5.25 million — have a big interest in the 29-year-old Galvis, who spent six years with the Phillies and played for the Padres in 2018.”"
So many expected the Pittsburgh Pirates to be in on Galvis. With his inexpensive contract that he ended up getting, he would have made a lot of sense for the Pittsburgh Pirates financially. However, as Neal Huntington mentioned, the team already has a player who could be just as good as Galvis, if not better in Gonzalez. So why pay the extra $4 million or so for a player who is not much of an upgrade over the current options?
In reality, many would have liked to have seen Galvis signed just for the sake of signing a known veteran. While Galvis is proven, he is not much of an upgrade over the current in-house options. This is not a missed opportunity by the Bucs, if they are gonna make a move at short it needs to be a player who is going to provide more than any of Galvis, Gonzalez, or Newman.