Red Sox fans might be thankful free agency push for Giants slugger fell short

Pittsburgh Pirates v San Francisco Giants
Pittsburgh Pirates v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox searched for a right-handed power bat during the 2023-24 offseason, and Jorge Soler was one of the better options.

The slugger ended up signing with the San Francisco Giants, and while his team just visited for a series at Fenway Park, he told reporters that he and the Red Sox were never close to a deal this winter.

Boston fans would've expected Soler to mash at Fenway — and everywhere else. But his 2023 numbers suggest that the Sox are better off with Tyler O'Neill.

The slugger earned an All-Star appearance with the Miami Marlins in 2023 and batted .250/.341/.512 with 36 homers. This year, Soler is slashing .212/.302/.381 and he's already racked up 33 strikeouts in 125 plate appearances.

The Red Sox may have dodged a bullet by not signing Jorge Soler

The Giants signed Soler to a three-year, $42 million deal, and the Red Sox were unwilling to make such an offer. Boston reportedly made a two-year offer to the slugger, but he sought something a bit more long-term.

The Red Sox pursued Soler as a powerful, right-handed bat for their lefty-heavy order. Boston likely did not expect O'Neill to supply the power he's brought to the lineup, as it was still in the hunt for a righty bat after he was traded for.

But O'Neill has fit right in with the Red Sox. He's batting .309/.429/.667 with an American League-leading 1.096 OPS, and he's under contract for less than $6 million.

Red Sox's new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow has made correct decisions regarding his outfield. He bet on Wilyer Abreu over Alex Verdugo, and the rookie has been on a tear at the plate and in the field. Boston opted not to trade Jarren Duran, and he's been electric as ever in the leadoff spot. Even Rob Refsnyder has been streaking at the plate and he's played a huge part in the Sox's recent wins.

Against all odds, the Red Sox are thriving without Soler or another free-agent power bat in the lineup. We'll applaud the team avoiding a bloated investment for once.

More Red Sox reads: