The Blue Jays have finally made a move in a very dull offseason. They traded for versatile infielder Yangervis Solarte and send Edward Olivares and Jared Carkuff. Capable of playing decent defense at every infield position, he could prove an obstacle for rehabbing Travis.
Let me first say that Yangervis Solarte is an excellent defensive third baseman and that could make Josh Donaldson expendable. Though I personally am in favor of trading Josh Donaldson, especially now, I don’t see that happening. Solarte is here to provide depth behind oft-injured Travis and Troy Tulowitzki. Given the affordable nature of his contract, Solarte can end the discussion on how to make the Blue Jays infield better. While it is expected that Solarte will be a bench bat and super utility player, he can be a very capable replacement for Travis at second.
Travis, who has played 100 games in a season only once, is a very capable player. Defensively skilled with offensive potential to carry the team. Solarte can come nowhere close to replicating the numbers a healthy Travis can put up. He can, however, show up to play the game consistently. Solarte had a WAR of 6.1 with the Padres through 4 seasons.
Travis has provided the Jays with a WAR of 6.0 in 3 injury-riddled seasons. If Travis can get healthy and play every day, that number will only increase. But that appears to be a big if at this point. While it is reported that Travis will be ready to play ball by Spring Training, how long will he go? Travis played only 50 games last year. If he suffers another set back with his knee, he could miss a similar amount of time. Leaving Solarte as the very capable replacement for the 2018 season.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
Solarte has options for the next two seasons as well. So if Travis continues to be plagued by injuries, the Jays have a capable player to man the position in Travis’ stead until either Travis or Lourdes Gurriel Jr. are ready to inherit the position full time.
Solarte can become the heir apparent if he can improve upon his 2017 season. If he can eclipse the 20+ homers and 80+ RBI’s mark, he may just take the job away from Travis. His incredible flexibly doesn’t hurt him either. Capable of filling in for Tulo, Donaldson, and even Justin Smoak, if needed. Solarte is a plus player who can pick up anyone’s slack.
With Travis and Tulo out frequently, the Blue Jays finally have a competent and capable MLB level starter to fill in for them. Not to mention what Aledmys Diaz can bring to the table, but we will save that for another article.
In short, Yangervis is a fantastic player who can not only fill in for but also replace the players he is backing up. I have no ill will toward either Travis or Tulo, but if they continue to play less and less, Solarte may very well be an everyday player for the next few seasons. And Blue Jays fans should be content with that.