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Galvis heads to Reds on waiver claim

Move allows Blue Jays to give Bichette everyday job at shortstop
@KeeganMatheson
August 12, 2019

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have lost veteran shortstop Freddy Galvis on waivers to the Cincinnati Reds, the team announced Monday. Galvis, 29, signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays last offseason and is earning $4 million, the remainder of which the Reds are now responsible for. He

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have lost veteran shortstop Freddy Galvis on waivers to the Cincinnati Reds, the team announced Monday.

Galvis, 29, signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays last offseason and is earning $4 million, the remainder of which the Reds are now responsible for. He also has a $5.5 million team option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout. Galvis' roster spot will be filled by outfielder Billy McKinney, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and will be active for the series opener against the Rangers.

“My boy,” manager Charlie Montoyo called Galvis. “Personally, I love professionals like that. He’s going to go play every day at short where he belongs; he doesn’t have to be a utility guy. That’s good for him, but we’re going to miss him. That’s a fact. I’m going to miss him. He became a friend, too. I loved everything that he did in that clubhouse.”

While with Toronto, Galvis quickly emerged as a clubhouse leader and earned the trust of Montoyo, who often used Galvis as the club’s leadoff or No. 2 hitter earlier in the season. Over 115 games, Galvis hit .267 with a .743 OPS and 18 home runs, leaving him just shy of his career high of 20, set in 2016. He was also one of the club’s best defenders, but the recent promotion and success of the Blue Jays’ No. 1 prospect, Bo Bichette, has changed the landscape for Toronto.

The Blue Jays evidently want Bichette in there every day and, with Cavan Biggio on one side of him and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on the other, there isn’t much room for Galvis, who is used to being an everyday player himself after back-to-back seasons of playing 162 games.

“Freddy was a key for me,” said Guerrero Jr., one of several young Latino players Galvis mentored. "He showed me how to go out there and work hard, and how to help the team win every night.”

This move also changes the Blue Jays’ outfield and DH picture, which will be tied together when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is back to full health. With Gurriel in the picture alongside Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez and the recently acquired Derek Fisher, there are four outfielders that Montoyo would like to have in the lineup regularly. Expect to see the DH position used in that scenario while also offering a half-day off to the younger core pieces down the stretch.

“I think Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney will benefit,” general manager Ross Atkins said. “All of the outfielders, using that DH spot. There are other names coming that will benefit from it. Having the flexibility to use that DH spot is very valuable for this young team.”

Keegan Matheson is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter @KeeganMatheson.