Phillies fan-favorite won’t wait for lockout to end, will play in Japan in 2022

Freddy Galvis #13, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Freddy Galvis #13, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Fan-favorite Freddy Galvis will play in Japan in 2022 rather than wait for the MLB lockout to end

Freddy Galvis has always thought of the Philadelphia Phillies as home, but he won’t be waiting around through the lockout to find out if he’s staying.

The current free agent is reportedly headed to Japan, where he will play for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks for the Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League.

Galvis is actually the second baseball player to play for both the Hawks and Phillies; Tadahito Iguchi played for the Hawks from 1997-2004 before coming stateside. After beginning his MLB career with the Chicago White Sox, they traded him to the Phillies in 2007. He played parts of two seasons with the Phillies and left with a 2008 World Series ring.

From a postseason standpoint, the Hawks are miles ahead of the Phillies. Since their inception in 1938, they have 19 Pacific League championships (equivalent to the NLCS) and 11 Japan Series championships (their World Series). The Phillies, of course, have two championships in franchise history and have not been to the postseason since 2011.

Galvis signed with the Phillies as a teenager, developed in their farm system, and made his MLB debut with the team in 2012. Beween 2012-17, he hit .245/.287/.372 with a .659 OPS and led MLB by playing in all 162 regular-season games in 2017. He replicated that again in 2018 with the Padres.

After bouncing around from team to team over the last few years, Galvis returned home at the trade deadline. Over 32 games with the Phillies this season, he hit five home runs and kept his numbers largely consistent.

Not being able to re-sign Galvis to an affordable deal is a blow to the Phillies, who require a lot of infield help and depth. The versatile veteran played shortstop, second, and third. They have serious issues with Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Alec Bohm at third; Galvis would have made things easier in 2022.