While this connection is decidedly less splashy than another recently reported expression of interest, Solarte seems to be a readily achievable target. He is looking for a new opportunity after the Blue Jays declined a $5.5MM club option and then non-tendered him.
A 31-year-old infielder, Solarte is capable of lining up anywhere in the infield, though he has spent most of his time at third base and second base. Solarte has played some shortstop, though he has logged fewer innings there than he has at first.
If he’s a utility piece, then, the switch-hitter is more of a bat-first option who probably shouldn’t be relied upon too heavily at shortstop. That profile arguably suits the Giants well, given that they’ll likely play Brandon Crawford nearly every day at shortstop but could stand to find complementary pieces at second and third base to go with Joe Panik and Evan Longoria.
Solarte has at times been a solid overall contributor. From 2014 through 2017, he turned in over two thousand plate appearances of .267/.327/.419 hitting with 57 home runs. Defensive metrics have graded Solarte as an average or slightly below-average performer.
Last year, though, was a rough season in all respects. Solarte topped five hundred plate appearances for the fourth time in his five MLB seasons, but slashed a meager .226/.277/.378 while receiving his lowest-ever marks defensively. No doubt a .233 batting average on balls in play reflected some poor fortune, though Statcast was not particularly enamored of his batted-ball profile, crediting him with a .284 wOBA and .299 xwOBA.
Now in search of an opportunity to bounce back, Solarte will surely be looking for the best chance to carve out a significant role. If he lands in San Francisco, it stands to reason that Solarte would battle with Pablo Sandoval and Alen Hanson for a roster spot and/or position on the depth chart.