The Los Angeles Dodgers signed RF Teoscar Hernandez for 1 year/$23.5 million. The Miami Marlins were never in the mix for him, but that's not what this is about. It's about something else entirely... it has to do with free agent designated hitter Jorge Soler. The player who we might not even really want back. Are you confused? Well then read on....
The Miami Marlins made a major mistake with Jorge Soler and the Teoscar Hernandez signing proves it.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, the Miami Marlins were never connected to Teoscar Hernandez this off-season. I actually was fine with that, as Teoscar batted .258/.305/.435, with 26 home runs and 93 RBI in 160 games and 625 AB. The average and OBP were not good to say the least. He didn't do that much better in 2022 with the Toronto Blue Jays. That season he batted .267/.316/.491, with 25 home runs and 77 RBI, in 131 games and 499 AB.
I was fine with the Miami Marlins not signing Teoscar, but it's the price tag that bothers me. Was Teoscar better than Jorge Soler? Soler batted .250/.341/.512, with 36 home runs and 75 RBI in 137 games and 504 AB. Soler rejected a $15 million player option in this weak hitter's market, expecting to make more, and based on Teoscar's contract it makes sense. Teoscar is a better defender than Soler, and had a slightly higher WAR. Soler can certainly expect less per year, but clearly can't expect a multi-year deal.
We established that Jorge Soler should expect to make less per year than Teoscar Hernandez. We also established that if Teoscar can't get a multiyear deal, than Soler probably can't expect it either. Soler is a worse defender with a much streakier and injury-prone past than Teoscar. They're both 31 years old by the way, but Soler will be 32 before the season starts.
I expect Jorge Soler to get a contract in the vicinity of 1 year/$20 million, possibly even slightly less than that. That's funny, isn't it basically what the Qualifying Offer is worth this year? The Miami Marlins are interested in bringing him back, so why couldn't Peter Bendix have just offered him a QO? There was nothing to lose. Outlets predicted him for 3 years/$45 million, so this was a good deal had he accepted. Had he rejected the QO, then great as The Fish get a draft pick. There was nothing to lose and now when Soler likely signs elsewhere, it will look like the blunder that it is.