Nick Solak Provides Rangers With Infield Depth
One of the first deals struck ahead of the July 31 trade deadline didn't create many ripples, at least not as far as the major league rosters of the Rangers and Rays were concerned.
At least not yet.
The Rangers acquired second baseman Nick Solak for hard-throwing righthanded reliever Peter Fairbanks, who only a month earlier made his major league debut. Both players were assigned to Triple-A following the trade.
Solak, though, should be making his debut soon because the Rangers continue to scratch their heads over Rougned Odor.
General manager Jon Daniels stressed that the trade wasn't made to find a replacement for Odor. Daniels talked about Solak's ability to play the outfield, though second base will be his primary position for however long he's at Triple-A Nashville.
But Daniels was also clear that Solak could create competition with Odor.
"It wasn't intended to be a challenge to Roogie, by any stretch," Daniels said. "Second base is where he profiles best for us. It was not made with the mindset of impacting our roster today, but certainly in the not-too-distant future it could give us some options."
This marks the second time Solak has been traded since the Yankees drafted him in the second round out of Louisville in 2016. New York sent him to Tampa Bay prior to the 2018 season in a deal that netted them Brandon Drury.
Solak was hitting .266/.353/.485 with 17 home runs when the Rangers acquired him. He will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft after the season if not added to the 40-man roster.
Solak also gives the Rangers an advanced prospect in the upper levels, where the organization is thin. They are also short on advanced infielders, which contributed to the Rangers decision to option Willie Calhoun to Triple-A in mid-July when Hunter Pence was reinstated from the injured list.
— Low Class A Hickory righthander Hans Crouse, the Rangers' top prospect, is pitching with a bone spur in his elbow that will require surgery after the season. The Rangers are allowing him to continue pitching so that he can continue to log innings and build arm strength.
— High Class A Down East shortstop Anderson Tejeda had season-ending surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in June after being injured while diving into second base. Hickory shortstop Chris Seise had season-ending surgery in May.