This shrewd acquisition will be the Reds best offseason pickup

Texas Rangers left fielder Nick Solak.
Texas Rangers left fielder Nick Solak. / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are no stranger to making shrewd transactions. Last season, it was the free agent signing of Brandon Drury. In 2021, it was a trade with the Seattle Mariners that brought Art Warren to the Queen City. Might Nick Solak be the Reds best offseason acquisition in 2023?

In early-November, the Reds acquired Solak from the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash. Solak had previously been part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization and was selected in Round 2 of the 2016 MLB Draft.

Solak, a University of Louisville product, appeared in just 35 games for the Rangers last season and spent most of 2022 in the minor leagues. While there, the right-handed hitting utility player slashed .278/.371/.489 with an OPS+ of 109.

Nick Solak will be the Reds best offseason pickup.

Nick Solak was among the top prospects in all of baseball prior to the 2020 season. Solak can play all over the diamond, but his best position is arguably second base. However, it would appear as though the Cincinnati Reds view Solak as more an outfielder.

While center field is currently occupied by fellow 2016 draftee Nick Senzel, Solak may be in line to unseat the former first-round draft pick. Senzel has continually struggled to stay healthy and to produce at the major league level.

The addition of Solak may be insurance in the event that Senzel hasn't yet healed from the toe injury that landed him on the 60-day IL and eventually required surgery. Senzel was using a scooter during RedsFest at the beginning of December.

While Solak has much more experience in left field than center field, his presence on the roster would allow a player like Stuart Fairchild or TJ Friedl to move to the middle of the outfield. Solak could then platoon with the left-handed hitting Jake Fraley who absolutely crushes right-handed pitching. Solak has an OPS near .800 when facing southpaws.

Spring training will be a proving grounds of sorts for Nick Solak who does have one minor league option remaining. Solak is still pre-arbitration eligible as well. This has the makings of being one of Nick Krall's best acquisitions of the 2022-23 offseason.

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