One realistic remaining free agent at each position for the Pirates to pursue

The free agent market still has some realistic remaining options for the Pirates to pursue.

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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First Base - Donovan Solano

In my opinion, Donovan Solano is one of the most underrated position players left on the free agent market. Since his return to MLB in 2019, Solano has consistently been a solid batter, hitting at least .280 with a wRC+ of at least 100 over the last five seasons. He’s still a free agent despite coming off one of his better seasons.

Last year, Solano hit .282/.369/.391 through 450 plate appearances for the Minnesota Twins. Solano had a 22.2% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate, both of which fall right around the league average. Solano has never been known for his power, and he had just a .109 isolated slugging percentage last year. But he did have 26 doubles, and there’s potential for more power next season. Overall, he had a quality .338 wOBA and 116 wRC+.

Solano has some raw power. He was in the 68th percentile of exit velocity at 90.2 MPH and 65th percentile of hard hit rate at 43.7%. Solano’s slugging percentage was just under .400. But his expected slugging percentage was slightly better than average at .439. He also had a .351 xwOBA, 13 points better than his wOBA. A .350 wOBA and .440 SLG% is akin to what Alex Bregman, Xander Bogarts, or Paul Goldschmidt did last year.

Solano has experience at both infield corners as well as second base. He doesn’t grade out as an excellent defender wherever he plays, but he can hold his own at whichever infield position he’s asked to play. Solano has experience at shortstop, but he hasn’t played a single inning there since 2021 and hasn’t logged more than 15 innings at short since 2019.

Solano only signed for $2 million last off-season. The Twins had reportedly considered bringing Solano back into the fold after they had traded infielder Jorge Polanco earlier this off-season, but that was at the start of February. The Pirates do have Jared Triolo, who can play all of the positions Solano can play but to a Gold Glove level. But if the Pirates end up trading Liover Peguero or Nick Gonzales, I think they should consider Solano.