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SF Giants sign Jorge Soler to three-year contract

The San Francisco Giants collapsed last year in large part because of their offense, which was among the worst in the league in almost every category. And now they’ve sorted some of it out.

Monday night, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Giants had agreed to a three-year contract with right-handed slugger Jorge Soler.

While terms of the deal have yet to be announced, it’s worth noting that Jon Morosi of MLB Network said earlier today that the impasse between the teams and Soler was over whether or not to include ‘a third year. The Giants apparently felt it was worth going there to get the deal done.

Soler had a sensational offensive season for the Miami Marlins in 2023, slashing .250/.341/.512 for a 128 OPS+, with 36 home runs. Although he plays corner outfield occasionally, he’s a player the Giants almost certainly plan to use almost exclusively as a designated hitter.

And hey, what kind of timing… just a few hours ago I wrote about why I think adding an honest-to-god DH is a great idea!

There are a few question marks for Soler, as he was rather pedestrian from 2020-2022 and had some injury issues during his career. But his underlying metrics last year — improved in large part by figuring out how to hit off-speed pitches — were enough to make projection systems believe his success in 2023 is sustainable. Fangraphs projects that he will have a better hitting season than any of his new teammates.

And fans clamoring for the Giants to have someone who hits the ball hard can rejoice: Soler has been in the top 6 percent of the league in maximum exit velocity every year of his career.

Unlike the person he’s replacing (Joc Pederson), Soler is a good hitter against both righties and lefties. He was a comfortably above-average bat in two-man matchups last year, sporting a 110 wRC+. And he was one of the most dominant left-handed mashers in the league, with a 181 wRC+ that was fifth highest in the league, behind Yandy Díaz, William Contreras, Mookie Betts and Ryan Mountcastle (and finishing a hair ahead of Aaron Judge ). ).

With Soler in the fold, it seems likely that one of JD Davis, Michael Conforto and LaMonte Wade Jr. will see his 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 curse of 30 circuits?

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