Reds' failed trade acquisition signs minor-league deal with Mariners

This certainly didn't work out the way Reds fans were expecting.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Nick Solak
Cincinnati Reds infielder Nick Solak / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Last offseason, the Reds made a rather shrewd trade with the Texas Rangers that saw Cincinnati acquire Nick Solak. The former University of Louisville product put up good numbers in the minor leagues in 2022, and many fans throughout Reds Country assumed Solak would break camp with the big league club.

Having spent time with several different organizations throughout his minor league career, Solak finally stuck with the Rangers in 2019 and eventually made his big league debut that year. During his three-plus seasons in Arlington, Solak posted a respectable OPS of .700 while squeezing out a utility role in just over 250 major league games.

But it was Solak's minor league performance in 2022 that had the Reds fanbase excited to see what he could do during spring training. After all, the Reds roster looked to have several holes after a 100-loss campaign the year before, and Solak hit .278/.371/.489 for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock.

Reds' failed trade acquisition, Nick Solak, signs minor-league deal with Mariners

Unfortunately for both the Reds and Solak, his performance during spring training did nothing to enhance his standing within the organization. Solak hit .100/.250/.250 with just two hits over 20 at-bats during 10 Cactus League games.

Solak was designated for assignment prior to Opening Day last season in order to assign Jason Vosler to the 40-man roster. Solak was traded to the Mariners a few days later in exchange for cash considerations. He was immediately optioned to Triple-A Tacoma where he played in just four games. Solak was then picked up by the Atlanta Braves and later the Detroit Tigers. In all, Solak posted an OPS of .715 in 96 minor league games last season.

The 29-year-old will now get a chance to see if he can prove himself once again as he'll join the Seattle Mariners on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. Jerry Dipoto has been busy of late, but there are still question marks on the Mariners roster. Perhaps Solak will do in Seattle what he couldn't do in Cincinnati and perform well enough during spring training to earn a roster spot.

As it turns out, the Cincinnati Reds were able to fill Nick Solak's roster spot with ease last season. The Reds, rather than relying on a minor-league journeyman like Solak, turned their attention to the young core of Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Spencer Steer. That seems to have worked out well, don't you think?