Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Blue Jays viewed by Jon Heyman as the favourites to sign Jorge Soler
1 month ago
It sounds like the Blue Jays may be adding a big bat to their lineup.
On Wednesday afternoon, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman noted on Bleacher Report’s Walk-Off that the Blue Jays are the frontrunners to sign Jorge Soler.
Make no mistake about it, Soler would be great for the Blue Jays. Last season, the 31-year-old designated hitter slashed .250/.341/.512 with 36 home runs in 580 plate appearances for a 126 wRC+. Soler also had an 11.4 BB% and a 24.3 K%, the latter being a career-best. It’s worth noting that 16 of those 36 home runs were at Miami’s ballpark, one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the league.
In fact, Soler has spent quite a few seasons at pitcher-friendly parks, including four and a half seasons with the Kansas City Royals. Interestingly, that featured his best season, where he had a .265/.354/.569 slash line with a career-high 48 home runs in 679 plate appearances for a 136 wRC+. That season, he also had a 10.8 BB% and a 26.2 K%.
Soler also has postseason experience, as he won the World Series in 2021 with Atlanta. During the postseason, he slashed .242/.342/.606 with three homers in just 38 plate appearances for a 145 wRC+. On top of that, Soler was named the World Series Most Valuable Player during Atlanta’s run, topped off by this huge three-run home run in game six.
Coming into free agency, Soler’s 36 home runs ranked second most for players in free agency, with only Shohei Ohtani hitting more during the 2023 season. This being said, the power is real, but the question with Soler is health.
Soler has played 10 seasons in the major leagues, but has only hit 400 plate appearances four times, and only 500 plate appearances three times. When he does remain healthy, he’s a 25+ home run hitter and has hit even more in 2019 and 2023.
While he may not play the outfield often anymore – he had -5 Defensive Runs Saved and -3 Outs Above Average in 241.2 innings last season – but Soler would be their best designated hitter in a long time.
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