The Texas Rangers have traded relief pitcher Peter Fairbanks to the Tampa Bay Rays for second baseman/outfielder Nick Solak, the team announced today. Solak is not on the 40 man roster, and so the 40 man roster now stands at 39.
Solak was a 2nd round pick of the New York Yankees in 2016 out of the University of Louisville. He was acquired from the Yankees in the threeway deal that sent Brandon Drury to New York and Steven Souza to Arizona. He was ranked #9 on the Fangraphs Rays list coming into the season, with the folks there saying he was so high makeup he broke one team’s makeup algorithm, and also saying he was a potential trade candidate because of all the infielders Tampa has. Baseball America had him at #13 in the Rays system — right around where Brock Burke would have been — after last season, and praised his bat and makeup while saying his defense at 2B is problematic.
Solak fits the mold of the Rangers top two picks in the 2019 draft, Josh Jung and Davis Wendzel — high makeup guys with strong approaches and hit tools. He’s also a bit reminiscent of Eli White. He will presumably go to AAA Nashville.
As for Peter Fairbanks, he will presumably be part of the Rays bullpen mix, and is still a great story, having gone from virtual non-prospect to viable bullpen piece in a short span of time. Best of luck to him in Tampa.