Yesterday the Blue Jays acquired infielder Yangervis Solarte from the Padres in exchange for prospects Edward Olivares and Jared Carkuff. With the move, Toronto now has a bounty of quality infielders, and only so many positions to put them all.
When it came to Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins, at least you half expected them to be ok with coming off the bench. Aledmys Diaz and Solarte (especially Solarte) may not look so kindly to being bench players. During Solarte’s fours years in the big leagues, he’s been a starter for three of them. Granted those three years as a starter were with the Padres, a team more comparable to what you’d find in Triple A as opposed to the big leagues.
It’s hard to believe with the addition of two skilled infielders like Solarte and Diaz that the Blue Jays are done making changes to their infield. Unless Toronto genuinely feels that both these players will be fine with the idea of coming off the bench. Maybe I’m just overthinking, but the acquisition of Solarte seems to signal several things for the Blue Jays. Perhaps it’s a sign that Devon Travis’ rehab isn’t coming along as planned…perhaps they have little faith that Troy Tulowitzki and Travis can remain healthy for most of the season…or perhaps it means they’re seriously looking to move one of Josh Donaldson or Travis.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful move for the Blue Jays. They’ve upgraded both Barney and Goins with two superior players, and didn’t have to part with any of their finest prospects to do so. The only issue is that because Diaz and Solarte are such an upgrade over Toronto’s previous utility infielders, that one has to wonder how Toronto will keep all these infielders happy when they know they’re more than good enough to be starters.
Lets say by some miracle that Tulowitzki, Travis, and Donaldson remain healthy for all of next season. That’s going to leave little playing time for both Solarte and Diaz. For a few years now Goins from time to time would remark that he felt he was good enough to be considered a starter somewhere. As long as he was with the Blue Jays that wasn’t possible as he fell behind Tulowitzki, Travis, and Donaldson on the depth chart. If a player like Goins feels he should be starting, what the heck is a superior player like Solarte supposed to feel about coming off the bench?