Peter Bendix is the new Miami Marlins President of Baseball Operations and he already has an important decision to make. Designated Hitter Jorge Soler declined his player option for the 2024 season, and is now hitting free agency. He's eligible for a Qualifying Offer, so should Bendix give him one? Or is it too risky to do so? It's worth a deeper analysis.
The Miami Marlins have to decide on a Qualifying Offer for Designated Hitter Jorge Soler.
A quick primer on Qualifying Offers.... A QO, (which is by the way worth $20.325 million for next season) is based on an average of the top salaries in the game. It can be offered only once to a player throughout his career, and only if he wasn't traded during the season that he just played through. This makes Jorge Soler eligible, despite him turning down a player option for next season. The QO is basically a one-year salary for next season, that a player can either accept or reject. A rejection along with the player signing with a different team, gives his previous team a draft pick.
The question is will Jorge Soler accept the QO if the Miami Marlins give him one? Will he reject it? Is it worth the risk? First of all, let's see what Soler can actually earn on the open market. Based on his injury history and inconsistency throughout his career, it's tough to see any team giving him an annual salary north of $15 million. He has elite power, but also poor defense. The weak free agent market for hitters is his only advantage at the moment.
3 years at $15 million a year seems like a reasonable expectation for him. This is basically 3 years/$45 million. He can get slightly less or slightly more, but I don't see any team giving him more than 3 years or more than $15 million a year. If he declines a QO, that really hurts his market as I have trouble seeing a team giving up a draft pick to sign him too. That said, it is a weak market for hitters and someone might get desperate.
The most likely scenario is that he accepts the QO, and has another potentially good solid year to prove that he can be healthy and consistent. That way he can still get the same 3 year/$45 million deal next off-season. The Miami Marlins need power and overpaying for one season may be worth it, if he has another big power year. I support giving him a QO.