Blue Jays Acquire Yangervis Solarte

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 6: Yangervis Solarte
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 6: Yangervis Solarte /

In the midst of a dull offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired more infield depth in the form of Yangervis Solarte.

In the midst of an off-season that has featured few moves and many questions about the future, the Toronto Blue Jays finally made a deal to acquire another key piece for this season.

As reported by Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, the team acquired infielder Yangervis Solarte from the San Diego Padres in exchange for prospects Edward Olivares and Jared Carkuff.

Solarte has been described as a super-utility player. He played all four infield positions for the Padres last season.

The 30-year-old came into the league in 2005, when he was signed as an amateur free agent by the Minnesota Twins. Solarte never played a game for the Twins or the Rangers, who he signed with, in 2011.

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The Venezuelan is no stranger to the AL East. He signed with the New York Yankees during the 2014 offseason.

He played 75 games for the Yanks before being traded to the Padres, where he has spent his last three and a half seasons.

Solarte has a career .267/.327/.419 slash line. Last season, he batted .255 with 64 RBI, 49 runs and 18 home runs, as well as 21 doubles.

Sportsnet‘s Ben Nicholson-Smith also pointed out that Solarte brings a cheap cap hit to the Jays for the foreseeable future:

Olivares was the 18th ranked prospect in the Blue Jays’ system. He is coming off a 2017 season where he played the majority of the season with Lansing.

He hit .277 with 65 RBI, 17 home runs, 26 doubles and nine triples with the Lugnuts, and was considered one of the Jays’ most promising under-the-radar prospects.

Carkuff bounced around the Jays minor league system last season, playing for Vancouver, Lansing, Dunedin, and even AAA Buffalo in September. The righty finished with a 3.86 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched.

After the trade was announced, Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins held a conference call to discuss the latest acquisition. As reported by the Canadian Press via CBC Sports, Atkins said:

"“We’ve been talking about Yangervis for a long time internally and our discussions date back with San Diego into last year, really. He’s an interesting, versatile player who has a nice offensive track record and a great reputation in the clubhouse and one that we thought would complement us well.”"

Following the initial announcement of the trade, there were questions about what this meant for Josh Donaldson. When asked if Solarte was brought in to back up the 2015 AL MVP, Atkins quickly shot down the notion:

"“We see him playing on a very regular basis and whether that mean spelling second base, spelling at shortstop from time to time, at third, he can play first, he’s been in the outfield before. So it’s really about versatility. By no means do we see him solely as a backup third baseman.”"

Solarte will team up with Aledmys Diaz to provide the Jays with a brand new look off the bench. With Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney ending up as free agents, it’s unlikely that either will be back with the team for this upcoming season.

Although the pair were fan favourites, the metrics lean towards Solarte and Diaz being a better pairing for the Jays:

While fans will be happy with another piece of news to discuss, everyone in Toronto is still waiting for the Jays to make a big splash in the free agent or trade market. With this deal, the team has shored up their need for depth in the middle infield. However, there are still several holes to fill.

The outfield has been the main point of emphasis. However, the Jays also need to secure a backup catcher for Russell Martin, as well as some pitching for both the starting rotation and the bullpen.

Hopefully, this is the first in a string of moves made by the team ahead of spring training in a few short months.

Next: How to add speed to Blue Jays roster in 2018

What are your thoughts on the trade? Who would you like to see the Toronto Blue Jays go after to fill their holes? Do you think there are more trades on the horizon? Let us know your thoughts below.