It’s easy to criticize seemingly bad moves, but some moves are not that bad. Miami Marlins fans seem to generally agree that The Fish signing Jorge Soler and Avisaíl García was bad. Yesterday I wrote an article how the Soler signing wasn’t that bad. I’ve also written in the past about Avi and his struggles. I even suggested bad contract swaps involving him. Today I’m going to explain why we should be optimistic about one but not the other.
The general consensus among Miami Marlins fans is that Jorge Soler and Avisaíl García have bad contracts.
The first thing to consider is whether signing either one was a good move at the time. Avisaíl García was a streaky hitter who never even really put it all together until 2019 (he debuted in 2012). In 2019, he batted .282/.332/.464 in 125 games and 489 AB for the Tampa Bay Rays. He then batted .262/.330/.490 in 2021 for the Milwaukee Brewers in 135 games and 461 AB. Despite being 30, he only topped 500 AB once (518 in 2017), played over 140 games once (2015) and topped 25 home runs once (2021).
I think it’s pretty obvious that Avisaíl García was too streaky and unreliable to hand a 4 year deal to, that pays him $12 million a year (there’s also a $12 million team option for a fifth year with a $5 million buyout). That’s not a good contract and makes Kim Ng look bad. Avi has a putrid .232/.269/.322 batting line for the season in 88 games and 323 AB. I don’t see why he would suddenly improve significantly next season.
Jorge Soler was a different case. He had a monster 2019 with the Kansas City Royals, batting .265/.354/.569 with 48 home runs and 117 RBI. He struggled in 2020 among many others, and didn’t do well in the first half of 2021. He then was traded to the Atlanta Braves and batted .269/.358/.524 in the second half, and won the World Series MVP after batting .300/.391/.800. He was in high demand and the Miami Marlins signed him for 3 years. He plays for $12 million this season, has a $15 million player option for next season and a $9 million player option for 2024.
Jorge Soler dealt with injuries this season and is currently batting .207/.295/.400 in 72 games and 270 AB. He has 13 home runs and 34 RBI so the power is still clearly there. He will pick up his option for next season, but will likely not want a pay cut for 2024 and will try extra hard next season. If he’s healthy he should be motivated and could have a big year.
It’s silly for the Miami Marlins to give up on players after the first season of multiyear deals. It’s also silly for the fans to turn on players so quickly. Jorge Soler will be worth it, only Avisaíl García will not.