FOX Sports Philadelphia – PHILADELPHIA (AP) When the Philadelphia Phillies signed Phillies second baseman Joey Gallop to a three-year, $45 million deal, it was the culmination of a year-long search for a top prospect.
And Gallop was the first player the team reached out to.
“It’s going to be an exciting, exciting, dynamic year for me,” Gallop said Monday.
Gallop, who had not played in the majors since 2012, became the Phillies’ most valuable prospect by a wide margin after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2017 amateur draft.
He is the first Phillie to make the majors and first since former shortstop Hunter Renfroe, who was drafted No. 2 in the 2005 draft.
Renfoe signed with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent and spent two seasons with the team before signing with the New York Mets.
He had a strong 2017 season, batting .291 with 25 home runs, 73 RBIs and 46 stolen bases in a career-best 97 games.
Renfield batted .273 with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs in 2016.
“I’m excited to get this opportunity,” Gallo said.
“To be able to play with the best in the game, it’s going be a good experience.
I’m looking forward to coming in here and trying to help the team win games.”
Gallop will start on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, joining former Phillies shortstop Travis Ishikawa and former Phillies outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who were acquired in trades last week.
The Phillies have not had a player with a contract longer than three years with a club since outfielder Justin Upton, who signed with Detroit in March.
“We have a lot of talent,” general manager Matt Klentak said.
The move brings Philadelphia to the NL West, a division that was held by the Los Angeles Angels last season.
The Diamondbacks are tied with the Los Angels for the NL’s best record and lead the division by seven games over the NL Central.
The Rockies and Brewers are tied for second with a combined nine games over .500.
The Astros are second with nine.
The Cardinals, Pirates, Phillies and Dodgers are tied at fifth.
“When you have a franchise like this, we have to build a winning team,” Klentax said.
It is the second straight year that the Phillies have signed a top-10 pick.
They also signed right-hander David Price in July to a five-year contract extension worth $75 million.
Price, who turned 30 in March, is 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 36 games this season.
He also has nine saves and a 3.22 ERA in 19 starts for the Cardinals.
Price and his agent, Jonathon Miller, met with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. before signing the deal.
They have also had a number of high-profile free agents to sign deals, including left-hander Jose Quintana, outfielder Yonder Alonso, right-handed pitcher David Price, right fielder Andrew McCutchen and outfielder Josh Reddick.