The Braves have made another roster move, fortifying their Gwinnett roster in some respects:
The #Braves today claimed OF Nick Solak off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 18, 2023
A veteran of parts of four MLB seasons and 974 total major league PAs, Solak was taken in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft (62nd overall) by the Yankees. He’s been involved in a ton of transactions since:
- Three-team trade in 2018 with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rays that saw Solak go to Tampa Bay, Steven Souza Jr. go to Arizona, Brandon Drury go to New York, among other moves.
- July 2019 trade that sent Solak to Texas in exchange for Pete Fairbanks.
- 2022-2023 offseason move by the Reds to acquire Solak from the Rangers.
- March 31, 2023 move by the Mariners to acquire Solak from the Reds.
- April 14, 2023 claim by the White Sox of Solak off waivers from the Mariners.
All in all, Solak has a career 93 wRC+ in the majors, and 1.2 fWAR in 974 PAs. He’s played second base and the outfield, with consistently bad defensive ratings in the outfield grass in a pretty small sample, and some confusing second base defensive data given that he was awful in a teeny sample in 2019-2020 but much better, and slightly above average, in nearly a full season in 2021.
An average-y bat with some defensive flexibility is a decent stash for a minor league team, especially one that has options like Solak.
It’s not hard to see why the Braves wanted him, either: he’s yet another contact-over-power guy that seems to have more raw power than he’s been able to channel thus far. There’s not much space for him right now, but given how many injuries the team has already endured so far... well, let’s not go there just yet.