Cincinnati Reds: What about an infield of Freddy Galvis and José Iglesias?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 07: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Cincinnati Reds makes a throw to first base in the seventh inning Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 7, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 4-2. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 07: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Cincinnati Reds makes a throw to first base in the seventh inning Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 7, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 4-2. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The recent acquisition of Freddy Galvis is already paying dividends. If the Cincinnati Reds re-sign José Iglesias, the middle infield would be stellar next season.

The moves that the Cincinnati Reds have made, both at the trade deadline and after, have indicated a desire to win this season while keeping an eye towards 2020. The recent acquisition of Freddy Galvis raised some eyebrows at first, but if Cincinnati could re-sign José Iglesias, the Reds could have one of the best middle infields in the National League.

When this move was first announced, I immediately thought that Reds were making plans to move on from Iglesias after this season. After all, Galvis has primarily been a shortstop throughout his entire career, and with a club option for 2020, one would assume he’d succeed Iglesias who’s a free agent this offseason.

With Josh VanMeter slugging away since his return to the Reds, my assumption was that the front office and coaching staff would give the rookie every opportunity to earn next year’s starting spot at second base. But, I’m starting to reconsider my thoughts on that idea.

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Freddy Galvis got his first start for the Reds during yesterday’s debacle in D.C. While the majority of what transpired was atrocious, Galvis went 4-for-5 with 3 singles and a home run. That was Galvis’ 19th round tripper of the season and his first since coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Galvis is now 5-for-6 in his first 2 games since the Reds claimed him. Galvis is hitting .268 on the season, which is a career-high for the 29-year-old from Venezuela. His power is something that the Reds have lacked this season from their middle infielders.

Sure, Derek Dietrich was on fire earlier this season, but his hot stretch through April and May seems to have been unsustainable. Scooter Gennett was injured for the majority of his time with the Reds this season and was subsequently dealt to the San Francisco Giants. VanMeter has some pop in his bat, but his versatility may warrant playing time all over the field.

The Reds would not have picked up Galvis without the idea of keeping him through next season. The $5M club option is sure to be picked up and Freddy Galvis will be starting somewhere in the middle infield for the Cincinnati Reds in 2020. But what about José Iglesias?

Funny you should ask. In fact, Mark Sheldon of chatted with Iglesias about returning to Cincinnati next season. Iglesias has ingratiated himself quite well with the fanbase. His clutch hitting and stellar defense has dazzled Reds Country all season. Here’s what Iglesias had to say about a possible return to the Queen City in 2020:

“We haven’t gotten deep into that conversation yet. It’s going to happen soon, I guess. Man, I love this group. That’s all I can say. This is where I belong. I don’t know, it’s totally out of my hands after that. I’ve enjoyed every single day I’ve come to the ballpark and leading by example, helping the younger players, and I’m very, very happy to be here.”

Every time you here Iglesias speak, he lauds his teammates and the organization. I think this past winter was quite hard on Iglesias and probably a bit humbling seeing as how he had to agree to a $2.5M minor-league deal. He’s more than shown that he deserves a bigger payday, but the question now becomes if that payday will be with the Reds.

An estimate of market value by suggests that Iglesias could make around $8M annually. That seems like a tough pill to swallow for the Cincinnati Reds. Could they take on that kind of salary? Absolutely. But would they? That’s doubtful. I think Dick Williams and Nick Krall would love to have Iglesias back, but at the right price.

With a need to upgrade the bullpen, can Cincinnati afford to pay Iglesias $8M per year? Remember, with Galvis already under team control for next year, the Reds already have a seasoned shortstop on the roster. While some fans won’t want to hear it, José Peraza is always an option at that position as well. Peraza led the Reds in hits last season.

If Galvis did supplant Iglesias at shortstop next season, the Reds could always turn to a combination of Peraza and VanMeter at second base. Dietrich is also under team control for 2020. The Reds have options at shortstop and second base if they’re unable to reach a deal with José Iglesias this offseason.

I’m a big fan of Iglesias. I personally love defense, regardless of the sport, and the wizardry that he puts on display every night is something to behold. However, I’m also a realist, and unless Iglesias is willing to sign a deal similar to what Galvis signed with the Blue Jays last offseason, I don’t see Cincinnati bringing their shortstop back for a second season.

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Galvis signed a 1-year/$4M contract with a $5M club option for 2020. Galvis has a WAR of 1.7 and Iglesias is sitting at 1.5 currently. If the Reds and Iglesias could hammer out a 2-year/$11M contract, I think both sides would be happy. Let’s hope it happens because a middle infield or Freddy Galvis and José Iglesias in 2020 would be stellar.