Phillies Avoid Arbitration with Freddy Galvis
The Phillies announced Thursday afternoon that they have reached a one-year deal with shortstop Freddy Galvis to avoid arbitration. The one-year deal is reportedly worth $4.35 million. This was Galvis’ second year of arbitration after making $2 million in 2016; MLB Trade Rumors had projected him to make $4.4 million had he actually gone to arbitration, so the Phillies don’t appear to have gotten big savings by coming to a pre-hearing agreement.
In recent years, arbitration hearings have become incredibly rare as teams either buy out players with extensions before becoming eligible for arbitration or reaching one-year deals like this one before hearings. In the latter case, teams don’t appear to gain much financially, but the idea is that they gain some goodwill by not putting the player through the ordeal of a hearing. In such a hearing, representatives from the team sit across a table from a player and his agent and detail the reasons he’s worth less than he thinks he is. That, obviously, isn’t a great way to build long-term trust with a player.
If all goes according to plan, Galvis will shift into a utility role before the season is over when J.P. Crawford is promoted to the majors. Baseball-Reference has him as worth 1.3 WAR while FanGraphs, who loved his defense, had him at 2.4 WAR last season. His 20 home runs doubled his career total though his .241/.274/.399 batting line was 26 percent below league average according to wRC+.
At 27-years old and with nearly 2000 major league plate appearances under his belt, Galvis is unlikely to improve much on that performance and will likely even see a decrease in value in a reduced role. Even so, his versatility and non-disastrous offense make him well worth this raise. With wins going for $8 or $9 million in free agency, $4.35 million for a player whose defensive ability alone nearly guarantees he’ll have positive value is nothing at all to worry about.
With Galvis’ salary for the 2017 resolved, only Jeanmar Gomez and Cesar Hernandez remain slated for arbitration. The Phillies have until Friday afternoon to reach agreements before both the team and player are required to submit filing papers. MLB Trade Rumors projects Gomez to make $4.6 million and Hernandez $2.5 million in arbitration.