While the 2023-24 offseason has been slow for a lot of teams — almost all but the Dodgers — the Boston Red Sox have had a particularly disappointing go of it.
After months of deception, Red Sox fans are left waiting for any move to make the team better. And a lot of quality free agents remain, waiting for a call and a job.
At this point, Jorge Soler belting home runs over the Monster is the stuff of Sox fans' dreams. But as Spring Training looms — pitchers and catchers report in just two weeks — the likelihood of Boston inking a deal with anyone is beginning to fade even more than it did when Tom Werner backtracked on "full throttle."
Boston needs a right-handed bat to break up its lefty-heavy order and Soler is arguably the biggest name on the market.
As Red Sox Nation has come to know, the front office at Fenway isn't into signing big names, as evidenced by the rumblings about Jordan Montgomery. He's been living in Boston all offseason, the Sox have been named by expert after expert as the best fit for the pitcher, but Montgomery lies in wait for a wiser suitor as the Red Sox let opportunity after opportunity pass them by.
What would a Red Sox contract offer to Jorge Soler look like?
Soler wouldn't cost as much as Montgomery or demand as long a commitment. Plus, his booming bat would tack additional offense onto Boston's production to make up for the number of runs the Sox's lackluster rotation is bound to allow.
If, by some miracle, the front office wises up and makes the move for Soler, a three-year, $45 million offer could get the job done, which is the deal that MLB Trade Rumors projected for him.
The slugger opted out of another year with the Marlins this season and elected to become a free agent. He would've been owed $15 million by the Fish in 2024 had he decided to stick around, which is a reasonable price for the slugger, if not a steal if he were to perform at his peak.
While Soler carries a big bat, his defensive capabilities and lack of versatility leave something to be desired. He and the Red Sox's current left fielder, Masataka Yoshida, could split their time between left field and designated hitter, as neither one of them defends particularly well.
Soler's plate production is also not always a given, either. While the slugger hit 36 homers last season, he struck out 141 times. Fenway Park is more hitter-friendly than Soler's former home, loanDepot Park, so his production could increase in Boston and end up being well worth the risk.
If Boston made the move and signed Soler for three years, $45 million, the payroll could still remain under the luxury tax threshold for the coming season. There's no need to wait for the next round of top prospects to make it to the big leagues to field a competitive team, and that's a flimsy excuse from the front office to avoid spending money.
It's possible that Soler would be willing to accept an even shorter deal because he's done so much waiting for a job this winter. His services are clearly not as coveted as he believed they would be, and the Red Sox should capitalize on those expectations before someone else does. But an "over-bid" at this rate could get him to sign would give the Sox a threatening bat for the foreseeable future.