San Diego Padres Free Agency Targets: Possible Shortstop Options

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 08: Freddy Galvis
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 08: Freddy Galvis /
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San Diego Padres
DETROIT, MI – JULY 21: Jose Iglesias #1 of the Detroit Tigers hits a 2-RBI double against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at Comerica Park on July 21, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

The San Diego Padres need a new starting shortstop. Will they look at internal candidates or bring in a free agent to serve as another stopgap option?

One of the most divisive topics among San Diego Padres fans is Freddy Galvis. Brought over via trade to bridge the gap to Fernando Tatis Jr. a lot of fans fell in love with the slick-fielding shortstop, while others are more than happy to see him walk away when the offseason officially begins. So how should the Padres address this position?

Using Spotrac’s Market Value tool, they believe that Galvis is worth just under $12 million a year on the open market. Seems like a steep price for a shortstop who will be pushed out of the way as soon as Tatis Jr is ready for his big league roster spot, which could be sometime in 2019. Let’s say the Padres decide not to pursue Galvis this offseason, who plays the position on Opening Day?

The first and obvious choice is to go after Manny Machado, however, recent public statements by Padres leadership seem to have shut the door on that possibility. Many fans have also been turned off at the idea of calling Machado one of their own, after his postseason antics. There’s also the belief that Machado wants to remain in a major market as he attempts to become a “larger-than-baseball” personality.

San Diego could just avoid the shortstop market and go with Javy Guerra in 2019. Known for his plus-fielding ability, Guerra went 2-16 with the Padres this season and hit .223 with a .269 OBP with the El Paso Chihuahuas. After putting up some of the worst offensive numbers in franchise history this year, going with Guerra may not be the best option, even if it is short term.

A potential free agent target for the San Diego Padres.

So, assuming Machado is out of the picture, who else is left? There’s Jose Iglesias who hit .269 with 31 doubles, five home runs, and just 47 strikeouts with the Tigers in 2018. The soon to be 29-year-old is coming off an abdominal injury that shortened his career-season to just 125 games.

Over that span, Iglesias posted a career-high 2.5 fWAR, a wRC+ of 90, .310 OBP, and a 10% strikeout rate. All of these numbers were better than Galvis, offensively.

Defensively, Iglesias committed just eight errors (.983 fielding percentage), finishing with an. 8.2 Ultimate Zone Rating and one defensive run saved. The Padres wouldn’t lose very much on defense, by having Iglesias over Galvis, but would gain moderate offensive production.

However, Iglesias is one of the longest-tenured members of the Tigers roster and his expected cheap price tag (Spotrac puts him at around $8 million/year), the Tigers could look to bring him back on a hometown discount to help bridge their own gap at the position.