PHILADELPHIA -- J.P. Crawford is getting his shot in 2018.The Phillies traded Freddy Galvis to the Padres on Friday for Double-A right-hander Enyel De Los Santos, making Crawford the everyday shortstop. It was part of a busy 48 hours for the Phillies, who also agreed to a three-year, $60 million
PHILADELPHIA -- J.P. Crawford is getting his shot in 2018.
The Phillies traded Freddy Galvis to the Padres on Friday for Double-A right-hander Enyel De Los Santos, making Crawford the everyday shortstop. It was part of a busy 48 hours for the Phillies, who also agreed to a three-year, $60 million contract for power-hitting switch-hitter Carlos Santana, according to sources, and announced they signed relief pitchers Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter to two-year contracts. The club has not confirmed a deal with Santana.
"We've always liked the style of J.P.'s offense, his ability to control the strike zone and work good at-bats," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Friday night. "That is obviously something that we put a lot of value in. What we saw from J.P. in the second half of last year was exactly the guy we think J.P. is going to be moving forward. The fact that we had a one-month look at J.P. in the big leagues to evaluate his readiness to compete against Major League pitching, to evaluate his defense, gave us confidence to make this move with Freddy."
The Phillies had been looking to trade Galvis or second baseman Cesar Hernandez before Spring Training because they had a glut of infielders, which includes Crawford, Maikel Franco and eventually Triple-A prospect Scott Kingery. But the Phillies preferred to trade Galvis because he is a free agent after next season and Crawford is a natural shortstop that impressed defensively. Meanwhile, Hernandez is an on-base machine, posting a .372 on-base percentage over 1,199 plate appearances the past two seasons.
"We were hit on both of our middle infielders quite a bit this offseason, trying to figure out the best way to go into next year," Klentak said. "Once San Diego told us they were willing to include De Los Santos in the deal, that made it easy for us."
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It doesn't sound like Hernandez is going anywhere anytime soon.
"I have always looked at Cesar as our everyday second baseman and this does nothing to change that," Klentak said.
Crawford, 22, is MLBPipeline.com's No. 54 overall prospect. He batted .214 with a .356 on-base percentage in 87 plate appearances in September, but the Phillies believe those numbers will significantly improve with experience.
Having Crawford and Santana (career .365 on-base percentage) in the Phillies' everyday lineup is expected to boost the offense, which has struggled for years. Philadelphia has had just two qualifying players post better than a .348 OBP from 2012-17: Hernandez (.371 in '16 and .373 in '17) and Odubel Herrera (.361 in '16). Rhys Hoskins posted a .396 OBP in 212 plate appearances last season.
De Los Santos, who turns 22 on Christmas, was the No. 13 prospect in the Padres' organization, which boasted the third-best farm system in MLBPipeline.com's midseason rankings. He now ranks ninth in the Phillies' system.
De Los Santos went 10-6 with a 3.78 ERA in 26 appearances (24 starts) with Double-A San Antonio. He averaged 8.3 strikeouts and 2.9 walks per nine innings and finished with a 1.193 WHIP. His fastball sits in the 93-95 mph range, although it has touched 97 mph.
He projects as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter.
"De Los Santos is a guy we've liked for a long time," Klentak said. "Great makeup, incredible worker. He's been young at every level he's pitched at. And he's been really good. Both from a scouts and analytical perspective we think he's going to add to our starting-pitching inventory in our system. It's really important to try to grow starting pitching from within a system and De Los Santos is another guy we can add into the mix."
Galvis, 28, hit .255 with 12 home runs, 61 RBIs and a career-high .690 OPS in 2017. He was a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award each of the previous two seasons. Galvis was the longest-tenured Phillies player, joining the big leagues in 2012. That distinction now belongs to Hernandez, who made his Major League debut on May 29, 2013.
Meanwhile, Neshek and Hunter join a bullpen that is expected to include Hector Neris, Luis Garcia, Adam Morgan and others. The Phillies signed them knowing they would need a stronger relief corps if they cannot upgrade the rotation.
The Phillies said this week at the Winter Meetings that upgrading the rotation remained a priority. That still could happen.
"The market is still unfolding slowly," Klentak said. "We are going to be patient with the market."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.