SAN DIEGO -- The Padres filled their seemingly annual shortstop vacancy on Friday morning, swinging a deal to land Freddy Galvis from Philadelphia for Minor League right-hander Enyel De Los Santos.The 28-year-old Galvis will be a free agent after the season, but for now, he fills one of the Padres' biggest needs. In all likelihood, he'll be their Opening Day shortstop, and he's a huge defensive upgrade over the past three seasons. That's especially important for the Majors' most ground-ball happy rotation.
Galvis, who batted .255/.309/.382 last season with 12 homers, also figures to serve as a veteran clubhouse presence on an extremely young offense. All along, Galvis was the club's top target at short, according to people in the organization.
It's likely Galvis spends only 2018 in San Diego, with No. 4 prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. on the horizon. In that regard, he's the Padres fourth-consecutive one-year stopgap at short, after Clint Barmes, Alexei Ramirez and Erick Aybar in the last three years.
But unlike that trio, Galvis arrived via trade, and he's still in his prime. Plus, Tatis' emergence this year made a one-year option very likely. The Padres feel as though they have their shortstop of the future. And, now, they have their bridge to him, too.
At the Winter Meetings this week, San Diego narrowed its list of shortstops, weighing the cost of free agents vs. the acquisition cost of trade candidates. For Galvis, the price was De Los Santos, a 21-year-old hard-throwing right-hander.
It's unclear whether De Los Santos projects as a starter in the long-term. But he's been a very effective starting pitcher in the Padres system. In 26 appearances for Double-A San Antonio last season, De Los Santos posted a 3.78 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 150 innings.
AJ Cassavell

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