Should the San Diego Padres look into bringing Yangervis Solarte back?
It has been well documented that the San Diego Padres are going into the offseason looking for a third baseman, shortstop, and starting pitching. There is also concern as to whether or not the likes of Cory Spangenberg, Christian Villanueva, Carlos Asuaje, or others answer the question as to who provides depth around the infield. Remember Yangervis Solarte? Is he a good fit for a return to America’s Finest City.
The 31-year-old utility infielder was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays from San Diego last January for outfielder Edward Olivares and pitcher Jared Carkuff. Olivares is a top prospect within the organization but now faces the possibility of being of left unprotected in the upcoming Rule-5 draft, while Carkuff was released during the season.
Solarte’s production took a dip after leaving San Diego, hitting .226 with 17 home runs in 122 games. For the first time in his five-year professional career, he posted a negative fWAR. However, known for his ability to put the ball in play, Solarte may have been on the side of a little bad luck this season, as Baseball Savant’s expected batting average for Solarte is about 40 points higher (.262).
On October 31, Toronto declined his $5.5 million option and for the time being he remains on the 40-man roster. It was not a surprise that the Blue Jays declined the option with multiple possible suitors, especially because he plays multiple positions and does provide value as a major league depth piece.
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Before the trade to Toronto, Solarte was a fan favorite in San Diego because of his personality. He played considerably better in San Diego than in Toronto, as his batting average was up over 40 points and hit 51 home runs over his three seasons with the club.
General manager AJ Preller enjoyed having Solarte with the team saying, “It’s definitely never easy to move a guy that you like.” With a possible need for infield depth, is Solarte an option to return?
If we are assuming Fernando Tatis is at shortstop, Andy Green moves a struggling Wil Myers back to the outfield, and Freddy Galvis not with the Padres, then right now they have Villaneuva and Spangenberg as options at third base. While Spangenberg is known for hustle and a left-handed bat, he is not going to be a reliable everyday third basemen. Christian Villaneuva has power and would have been in the Rookie of the Year conversation if he hadn’t gotten hurt last season, but has not shown consistency at the plate.
It will be interesting to see if the San Diego Padres wish for a reunion with the fan favorite Yangervis Solarte for the 2019 season.