The San Francisco Giants may try to trade hot-hitting infielder Donovan Solano before the August 31st trade deadline to get a young player in return to aid their rebuild attempts.
Solano’s incredibly solid 2019 in which he hit .330/.360/.456 with four home runs and 23 RBI seemed to be an aberration, but his hot start to 2020 suggests that his nickname “Donny Barrels” may stick.
However, with the Giants being a rebuilding team and Solano being a 32-year-old who does not seem likely to be around the next time the team has a legitimate chance at the postseason, there is a chance that he could end up being traded.
So far in 2020, Solano has hit .392/.430/.544 with one homer and 15 RBI in 86 plate appearances. There are plenty of teams with a chance at the playoffs who would salivate over having a versatile, contact-oriented hitter.
The Giants would be wise to listen to offers for Solano. Although his bat would surely be missed in the lineup, they would still have infielder Wilmer Flores who has hit well for the team and is under contract through 2021. Solano’s departure would also give Mauricio Dubon more playing time, a 25-year-old who seems likely to factor into the team’s plans, at second base.
One possible landing spot for Solano could be his old team, the New York Yankees. Their star second baseman DJ LeMahieu just went on the IL due to a thumb sprain, and in a shortened season every game counts so they may not be willing to wait for LeMahieu’s return without having a solid replacement.
But Solano’s skills with the bat are appealing to any major contender with the new universal DH rule. Having a guy in the lineup who barrels the ball with as much regularity as Solano is a major selling point. For instance, in 2020, the 32-year-old has posted a 30.3 percent line-drive rate in his batted ball events:
It is unclear what the Giants would be able to get in return for Solano, but the middle infielder is under team control until after 2021. If they feel that they could nab a young player who could be around for the team’s next playoff run then they could very well pull the trigger.