Jul 30, 2021 10:31 PM

⚾ Royals deal slugger Soler to Braves for minor league pitcher

Posted Jul 30, 2021 10:31 PM

Jorge Soler, who slugged 48 home runs in 2019 to obliterate Mike Moustakas' club season record, had to be scratched from the Kansas City Royals' lineup Friday. He couldn't play against the Toronto Blue Jays because he was traded just before the MLB trade deadline.

The Royals sent Soler to the Atlanta Braves for minor league right-handed pitcher Kaley Kalich, who was to be assigned to Quad Cities, Kansas City's High-A farm club.

Soler, 29, had been enduring a rough season before heating up recently (six homers in his last nine games). He was hitting .192 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs. But his 2019 season -- with 156 hits, 33 doubles, 117 RBIs and those 48 homers -- showed his capabilities.

Kalich, 23, was a fourth-round draft pick in 2019 from Texas A&M. He went 1-1 with a 1.25 ERA in 21.2 innings that summer, then didn't play in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. He has pitched in 20 games for High-A Rome this season, compiling a 3.26 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 30.1 innings and five saves in five opportunities.