Sorry, Lance Berkman: Carlos Pena signs with the Astros

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The Astros had been talking to Lance Berkman to be their DH and play some first base. It seems as though they’re going in a different direction now, though:

Probably less money than Berkman was looking for, based on previous reports.

Pena has always been a low-average hitter, and that was OK when he hit for a lot of power and took walks. He still walked 87 times last year but his homers dipped to 19 and his doubles went down by ten from the year before. That left an ugly line of .197/.330/.354.  In light of that he represents some pretty major uncertainty. Although Berkman would have as well, just less with performance than with health.

In other news, now that Pena has signed with Jeff Luhnow’s new-look Astros after having previously played for Andrew Friedman’s Rays, Theo Epstein’s Red Sox and Billy Beane’s A’s, he’s only one punch short on the “sign with a SABR-friendly general manager” card from a free contract.

Padres close to acquiring Freddy Galvis from the Phillies

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Scott Miller of Bleacher Report says that the San Diego Padres are in “serious” talks with the Phillies to acquire shortstop Freddy Galvis. He said that a deal could happen today, in fact.

Galvis, 28, is a superior defensive shortstop. He hit .255/.309/.382 with 12 homers and 14 steals over 162 games in 2017. Which, while not good, is pretty much as good as he gets on offense and works well enough given his glove and given how durable he has proven to be.

No word on what the Phillies would get back for Galvis, but 2013 first rounder J.P. Crawford is clearly the Phillies’ shortstop of the future. Crawford, who was called up and played in 23 games in 2017, has great range and an MLB ready glove. He has some holes in his swing but some pop too, so there’s no reason for Philly not to install him at short now.