Sunday, March 20, 2022
Welp, as much as we hoped the Braves could swing one more savvy transaction this offseason and re-sign outfielder Jorge Soler, that possibility was crushed late last night when MLB.com‘s Mark Feinsand reported that Soler had signed with the Marlins.
At an AAV of $12 million per season, Soler’s three-year, $36 million contract must of been a little too rich for GM Alex Anthopoulos’ taste, especially given the deal also includes a player opt-out after each of the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Soler, entering his age-30 season in 2022, wound up becoming a huge pick-up for the Braves at last year’s trade deadline, going on to hit .269 with 14 home runs during the second-half of the regular season, followed by a .300 AVG and three homers in the team’s World Series versus the Astros. That Fall Classic effort featured a World Series MVP for Soler, and no doubt made him a highly sought-after player this past winter.
Another slugger like Soler would’ve certainly helped Atlanta’s offense, especially given Ronald Acuna Jr.’s current absence (he’s expected to be back sometime around May), although missing out shouldn’t bee too detrimental. The Braves are already pretty much set in the outfield, with a starting group likely involving a combination of Eddie Rosario (right field), Adam Duvall (center) and Marcell Ozuna (left), with guys like Guillermo Heredia, Orlando Arcia and prospect Drew Waters as potential depth options. The team also signed outfielder Alex Dickerson a few days ago. Still, with the universal-DH at play, that extra bat could’ve allowed the Braves to add one more above-average bat to its roster, and as the AL’s home run leader back in 2019 (with 48 HR), Soler definitely would’ve helped in that department.
Regardless, Atlanta has had a fantastic offseason so far, and while it’s disappointing to see Soler join another team, it’s nice to see him rewarded for his 2021 performance.