Believe it or not, Donovan Solano is still a free agent. The Cincinnati Reds signed Solano to a one-year/$4.5M contract last offseason, but the infielder spent a good chunk of time on the IL following a hamstring injury he suffered during spring training.
Solano returned to the Reds midway through the 2022 season and hit .284/.339/.385 while logging 16 doubles and four round trippers. It's actually quite astonishing that Solano is still on the open market.
At this stage of the offseason, the Cincinnati Reds should reach out and attempted to re-sign the 35-year-old. Solano was one of the most productive players on last year's team despite playing in just 80 games.
The Reds should attempt to re-sign Donovan Solano.
The Cincinnati Reds do have a lot of infield depth heading into next season. The club already added Noelvi Marte and Elly De La Cruz to the 40-man roster, and those two moves came on the heels of Spencer Steer joining the team last September.
Cincinnati also added two catchers this past winter. Signing both Curt Casali and Luke Maile will see time behind the dish, and this should allow for Tyler Stephenson to get at-bats as the team's designated hitter while also taking some reps at first base.
But, while the argument can be made that adding Solano would suppress the ability for some of the young players to gain valuable experience, there's something to be said for having a professional hitter like Donnie Barrels in the clubhouse every day. Solano is also well-regarded as a teriffic teammate.
If any team knows the value of adding depth, it's the Cincinnati Reds. The injury bug was merciless last season, robbing second-year stars like Stephenson and Jonathan India of valuable playing time. The Reds were forced to turn to players such as J.T. Riddle and Taylor Motter in order to fill the void.
Besides his presence in the clubhouse and mature approach to hitting, Donovan Solano could also bring value to the Reds at next year's trade deadline. If Donnie Barrels has a season like he did in 2022, several contenders may be looking to add his bat next summer.