With Spring Training just a month away, we’re drawing ever closer to Dodger baseball being back. This week, we saw Adrian Gonzalez sign with the Mets. Justin Turner and Corey Seager were both ranked highly in MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now!, and Yasiel Puig went home to Cuba. The Dodgers also signed two infielders, Donovan Solano and Wes Darvill.
On Friday, the Dodgers reportedly signed 30-year old infielder Donovan Solano to a minor league contract.
Source: Dodgers sign ex-Marlins INF Donovan Solano to minor-league deal. Was most recently in Yankees organization.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 19, 2018
Solano is a career .257/.306/.331 hitter in 1,168 plate appearances at the Major League level. He has played second base, third base, shortstop, and left field in the Majors, but has gotten the bulk of his playing time at second. Solano will help fill the void left by Charlie Culberson’s departure on the Dodgers’ depth chart. Solano spent all of 2017 at the triple-A level, where he hit well. He slashed .292/.336/.399 with 4 home runs, 35 doubles, and 53 runs batted in.
Solano perfectly fits the mold of players the Dodgers love to sign, low risk with high reward potential. Although he’ll likely start the season in the minors, he’ll have the opportunity to prove he can step in if needed. He, along with Jake Peter, will provide depth in the infield in case of injuries. Signing Solano may not be a big move but it’s smart, as the Dodgers pride themselves on their depth. With Culberson gone, and Chase Utley still a free agent, Solano may have a shot to find his way to the Majors and help the Dodgers this season.
In an under-the-radar move on Thursday, the Dodgers also signed former Cubs farmhand Wes Darvill per Manitoba Post. Darvill is an infielder drafted by Chicago in 2009. He spent 7 seasons in the Cubs organization, before ending up in the independent leagues. The 26-year old has played the past two seasons for the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Darvill slashed .309/.354/.402 with 4 home runs, 19 doubles, and 30 stolen bases in 2017. He’ll start the season in the minor leagues, but he’s someone to keep an eye on down the line.
In other news, Ken Gurnick reported that Matt Kemp has been working out at Dodger Stadium.
Although it’s been assumed the Dodgers will trade or release outfielder Matt Kemp, he has been working out at Dodger Stadium with other veteran Dodgers. Among those on Thursday were Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) January 11, 2018
Kemp is in limbo at the moment, with nobody really sure if he’ll stay with the Dodgers or be traded. Most assume he’ll be moved, but with his massive contract and declining play that’s easier said than done. With Spring Training starting in a month, we should get some clarity on his situation in the near future.
As always, Dodgers players were active on social media as well. Here are some highlights.
— Kershaw's Challenge (@KershsChallenge) January 17, 2018
Whatever you do in life, no matter how far you get in this world never forget your roots! Blessed to visit my humble home & reconnect w people that were there from my #beginning #fromsugarcane & #dirtroads to #thebrightlightsofLaYuma #Cienfuegos #Cuba ?? pic.twitter.com/tqHarP8sOn
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) January 16, 2018
It looks like the players are enjoying their offseason, but they all seem ready to get back on the field.