LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs announced today that they traded infielder Tommy Mendonca to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in exchange for left-handed pitcher Will Solomon.
Solomon brings two seasons of professional experience, both with Fargo-Moorhead, to Lincoln. The 25-year-old has a combined record of 11-8 with a 4.75 ERA over 40 appearances and 26 starts. He was 5-5 with a 4.47 ERA in 24 games and 16 starts in 2017. He logged 104.2 innings and struck out 69 batters.
The southpaw earned American Association Pitcher of the Week honors on July 17, 2017 following a stellar performance against the Kansas City T-Bones. He scattered three hits over eight shutout innings on the way to a 1-0 win.
Solomon was 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA in three career starts against the Saltdogs. He tossed a complete game in a 4-2 RedHawks win at Haymarket Park on July 1, 2017. In his most recent start against the Saltdogs, he induced two triple plays, setting an American Association record and tying the MLB record for most triple plays in a game.
Before making his pro debut with the RedHawks, Solomon pitched for three different collegiate teams. He spent one year at Northwest Florida State College, two at Kennesaw State and finished his collegiate career at Georgia Gwinnett College. He helped lead Kennesaw State to their first NCAA Division One Super Regional appearance. He pitched in both of the Owls’ games and allowed just one run over 5.1 innings. He was 8-1 with four saves and a 2.41 ERA in his senior season at Georgia Gwinnett. Solomon was a 38th round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2016 draft.
Mendonca was one of the top offensive threats for the Saltdogs in 2017. The left-handed-hitting infielder posted a .291 batting average with six home runs and 28 RBIs. Injuries limited the slugger to just 158 at bats over 49 games. His average was at .364 entering August before he finished the season in a 3-30 slump.
Mendonca was acquired in a trade with the Sioux City Explorers on March 15, 2017. He spent three seasons with the X’s and made it into the top 10 in their career charts in doubles, RBIs and hits. He led Sioux City in home runs and walks in 2016 while finishing second on the team in RBIs.
The 29-year-old was a second round draft pick by the Texas Rangers in 2009. He reached as high as Triple-A with the Rangers organization. He posted a .260 career average with 57 home runs in affiliated ball.
Mendonca spent three seasons playing for Fresno State University before he was drafted. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2008 College World Series for leading the Bulldogs to the CWS title.
The trade is the Saltdogs’ first transaction of the offseason. It is one of a handful of trades between the two franchises in 2017. RHP Carlos Pimentel and RHP Dimitri Kourtis were acquired by Lincoln before the season began. The Saltdogs sent IF Trever Adams to Fargo for LHP Cesilio Pimentel in late June. Lincoln sent Carlos Pimentel back to Fargo just before the postseason.
The Saltdogs will play their 18th season of baseball in 2018. For offseason information on the reigning Central Division Champions, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.