A big problem the Los Angeles Angels have had in recent years is their lack of depth costing them games in the middle of the season.
This past season, the Angels dealt with injuries to key players such as Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Jared Walsh, and David Fletcher. Backing those guys up were players like Matt Duffy, Andrew Velazquez, and Tyler Wade. A big reason the Angels finished 25th in runs scored this season was because they had to rely on those guys to play every day.
The moral of the story here is the Angels need better depth. One infielder who I think they should target in free agency is Donovan Solano.
Donovan Solano would fix a lot of issues the Angels have on their roster.
Donovan Solano is a veteran who can play every infield position except shortstop. While he isn't the greatest defender in the world, he can flat-out hit.
In the last four seasons, Solano has slashed .301/.350/.421 with 18 home runs and 107 RBI in 316 games. Yes, the home runs aren't there for Solano but he's a guy who can get on base and put the ball in play. He's had a 109 OPS+ over the last four seasons so he'd be a massive upgrade over guys like Duffy, Wade, and Velazquez.
Solano signed a one-year $4.5 million dollar deal with the Reds prior to the 2022 campaign. He slashed .284/.339/.385 with four home runs and 24 RBI. His 97 OPS+ was slightly below average but still substantially better than what the Angels have had.
The 34-year-old won't command so much on the open market and will fill a couple of needs for Los Angeles.
First, he can platoon with Jared Walsh at first base. Walsh has crushed right-handed pitching over his career but has slashed just .198/.235/.365 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI in 354 plate appearances against southpaws.
Solano on the other hand hit over .300 against lefties this past season with an OPS 170 points higher than Walsh's career mark. He'd be a pretty big upgrade against lefties.
Solano can also give guys like Luis Rengifo and Anthony Rendon days off at second and third base. He can also come off the bench and hit for one of those guys if the Angels need a big hit.
The Angels were 24th in batting, 26th in OPS, and 25th in runs scored this past season. Solano's high average and on-base percentage would help the Angels a lot.
Solano won't require much of a raise if he'd even get a raise from the contract he just got from Cincinnati. On a similar deal he just had with the Reds I think Solano would be an excellent addition for GM Perry Minasian to make.