The Padres addressed their gaping shortstop hole on Friday afternoon, acquiring Freddy Galvis from the Phillies in exchange for Double-A righthander Enyel De Los Santos.
Last year the Padres used Erick Aybar, Yangervis Solarte, Dusty Coleman, Allen Cordoba, Chase d’Arnaud and Luis Sardinas at shortstop, and all but Coleman rated as below-average defenders.
Galvis solves that issue, while De Los Santos adds to the stable of promising young Phillies arms.
Enyel De Los Santos, RHP (Double-A San Antonio)
Originally acquired by the Padres from the Mariners in a one-for-one trade for Joaquin Benoit after the 2015 season, De Los Santos blossomed into one of the Padres’ most electric and effective starters, going 10-6, 3.78 over 150 innings at Double-A San Antonio as a 21-year-old last season. He struck out 138 and walked 48. De Los Santos slings a 94-98 mph fastball with carry through the zone that he commands to both sides of the plate at the knees. It’s a true plus heater, and one he rides to success because his secondaries have yet to come. De Los Santos’ curveball is below-average and doesn’t project to ever be better than average because of his delivery and arm action. His changeup shows above-average potential but he lacks confidence in it and doesn’t use it at the right times, so it plays down due to poor sequencing off his fastball. De Los Santos is young, durable and has a track record of success, so he could continue starting if his secondaries tick up even a little bit. Even if they don’t, he has the stuff to be an electric late-inning reliever, which many evaluators consider his most likely outcome.
Freddy Galvis, SS (MLB)
Galvis represents a massive upgrade at shortstop for the Padres. The Venezuelan played all 162 games last season and led all major league shortstops with a .989 fielding percentage, and has the range and above-average arm no Padres shortstop has had since arguably Everth Cabrera in 2013. The switch-hitting Galvis batted .255/.309/.382 last season with 29 doubles, 12 home runs, 61 RBIs and 14 stolen bases, modest numbers but still a significant improvement over the .215/.278/.323 slash line Padres shortstops put up. Galvis is in arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2018 and will be a free agent after the season.