The San Francisco Giants failed last year primarily because of their offense, which was one of the worst in the league in almost every category. And now they’ve addressed some of this.
Late Monday night, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Giants had agreed to a three-year deal with right-hander Jorge Soler.
I’ve learned that Jorge Soler has agreed to a three-year deal with the Giants.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 13, 2024
While the terms of the deal have not yet been announced, it’s worth noting that MLB Network’s Jon Morosi had said earlier in the day that the standoff between the teams and Soler over whether or not to include a third year was over. The Giants apparently felt it was worth going there to seal the deal.
Soler had a sensational offensive season for the Miami Marlins in 2023, hitting .250/.341/.512 for a 128 OPS+ and 36 home runs. Although he occasionally plays outfield cornerback, he is a player the Giants will almost certainly use almost exclusively as a designated hitter.
And hey, what good timing… just a few hours ago I wrote about why I think adding a real DH is a great idea!
Soler has some question marks as he was more pedestrian from 2020 to 2022 and has had some injury concerns in his career. But his fundamental metrics last year — improved in large part by him figuring out how to hit off-speed pitches — were enough to make forecasting systems believe his success in 2023 is sustainable. Fangraphs predicts he will have a better season than any of his new teammates.
And fans who have long wanted the Giants to get someone who could hit the ball hard can rejoice: Soler has been in the top 6% of the league in maximum exit velocity in every year of his career.
Unlike the person he replaces (Joc Pederson), Soler is a good hitter against both right-handed and left-handed pitchers. Last year, he was a significantly above-average hitter in two-man matches, posting a 110 wRC+. And he was one of the league’s most dominant lefties, posting a 181 wRC+, fifth-highest in the league, behind only Yandy Díaz, William Contreras, Mookie Betts and Ryan Mountcastle (and just ahead of Aaron Judge). ).
With Soler on the roster, it seems likely that one of JD Davis, Michael Conforto and LaMonte Wade Jr. will see their time with the Giants come to an end. But that’s a problem for another day.
Welcome to the Giants, Jorge! Have you heard of the 30-homer curse?