Jorge Soler is one of the better hitters still available in free agency. He’s surely seeking a multi-year deal on the heels of a 36-homer campaign that led him to decline a $13MM player option with the Marlins.
At the beginning of the month, Soler told reporters in Cuba that Miami hadn’t shown any interest in a reunion. A return to South Florida still seems a long shot. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote yesterday the Fish have had some contact with the free agent slugger but would likely only bring him back on a cheap deal.
The Marlins opted against a $20.325MM qualifying offer at the start of the offseason. While that wasn’t surprising for a low-payroll franchise, it didn’t bode well for their chances of re-signing him. Even if Soler doesn’t secure that kind of salary on an annual basis, he should handily surpass that guarantee over a two- or three-year term.
Boston, Seattle, Arizona and Toronto have reportedly shown interest in Soler at points this offseason. Of that group, the Blue Jays appear the strongest suitor. The Mariners and D-Backs are almost certainly out; Seattle signed Mitch Garver and acquired Mitch Haniger, while Arizona re-signed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and agreed to a $12.5MM deal with Joc Pederson this evening.
The Red Sox are still open to adding a right-handed bat, but Boston officials have indicated they’re working without much payroll flexibility. They reportedly didn’t want to go beyond two guaranteed years for Teoscar Hernández; it’s possible they’re taking a similar approach with Soler.
On the other hand, the Jays clearly remain involved in the market. TSN’s Scott Mitchell tweeted this morning that Toronto’s interest in Soler is “very real.” Jon Heyman of the New York Post wrote tonight the sides remain engaged in discussions. The Jays still have a clear need for offensive help, particularly at designated hitter. Toronto allowed Brandon Belt to hit free agency and hasn’t landed a replacement.
Roster Resource projects the Jays right at the $237MM base luxury tax threshold. They surpassed the threshold in 2023, so they’ll be taxed at the rate for second-time payors this year. They’d owe a 32% tax on spending between $237MM and $257MM with escalating penalties beyond the $257MM mark.