The San Diego Padres have recently been in discussions with a couple of teams regarding third baseman Yangervis Solarte. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports reports that, indeed, the Padres have fielded early calls on the switch-hitter from Venezuela.
Yangervis Solarte has been one of the most consistent hitters in the Padres lineup for the past few seasons, since being obtained from the New York Yankees for Chase Headley at the trade deadline in 2014. The Padres clearly got the better of the deal as Solarte has easily outperformed Headley on the field, at a fraction of the cost.
A.J. Preller is starting to talk to teams about deals, and the first of many should happen fairly soon, as the Winter Meetings are currently taking place in Arizona. The Padres have depth in certain areas (catching and second base), while at the same time, they clearly have a need for pitching. It’s needed particularly in the rotation, where the team will have several injury question marks to start the 2017 season. Cesar Vargas, Tyson Ross, Robbie Erlin, and Erik Johnson are all recovering from injuries and are not certain to be ready come February.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) 10. November 2016
Solarte has tremendous value right now as he is under team control through the 2019 season. In 109 games and 405 at bats last season, he recorded a slash line of .286/.341/.467 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI. He was a solid presence in the middle of the Padres lineup and the team will want top dollar for his services. He will not just be given away. He means way too much to the team in the clubhouse as well as on the field.
The versatile infielder can play second, third, and first base, though his best defensive position is probably at the hot corner. There are rumors that the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Houston Astros may have interest in him presently. The Dodgers could be players if they are unable to sign Justin Turner, who is due for free agency. That still remains to be seen though, as free agency is just about to kick off.
If the Padres were to deal Solarte, what would they do at third base? Well, both Ryan Schimpf and Cory Spangenberg are both capable of playing the position if need be. Carlos Asuaje is another option as the young infielder, acquired from the Red Sox with Logan Allen, Manuel Margot, and Javier Guerra for Craig Kimbrel, showed well in September in his first taste of major league service time. The team has no young third base prospect, so a potential deal for one is another possibility, someone who may be major league ready in a season or two when the Padres could be primed for a continuous yearly playoff run.
A.J. Preller is surely fielding offers, and contrary to what some believed, his recent suspension will have little to no effect on potential deals. The Marlins’ GM came out on Wednesday and clearly stated that if the Padres have a player he wants, he will not hold a grudge and will pursue a deal with the team in good faith. It makes sense. The Padres medical records are probably the best kept in the league now after the punishment. Future teams should have no fear at all dealing with the team.
Keep an eye out, as Solarte is a very attractive piece and he could be used to gain some serious pitching talent for the team. This off-season will be very interesting as the Padres attempt to fill their roster with veteran players who convey the message they are trying to emphasize throughout the whole franchise. Stay tuned. Its gonna be a fun winter as the Padres continue to develop an exciting young team.