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Baseball Daily Dose

Marlins Add (Jorge) Soler Power To Lineup

by Matt Williams
Updated On: March 21, 2022, 11:04 am ET

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Spring training is officially in full swing, and with the free agency pool dwindling down the Marlins added some serious power to their lineup on Saturday. The Marlins signed outfielder Jorge Soler to a three-year, $36 million contract that includes an opt-out in each of the first two years of the agreement. The Cuban native will feel right at home in South Florida, literally, because Soler owns a home in Miami.

The 30-year-old slashed .228/.326/.432 with 27 home runs and 70 RBI last season with the Royals and Braves while also being named the World Series MVP. Soler has serious power that will play in any ballpark, which is important given the cavernous dimensions of LoanDepot Park. Over eight seasons in the majors, the slugger has crushed 121 homers with 48 coming in 2019 when posted an impressive .922 OPS.


Marlins Park Overlay


As you can see in the chart above, Soler will not be hurting for production in his new environment. The spray chart showcases every batted ball event from the new Marlins outfielder at LoanDepot Park. In fact, according to Baseball Savant, Soler would have earned a net gain of nine home runs according to expected home run totals. It is important to remember that this is an isolated statistic and not every game will be played in one park, but the data is still encouraging given Miami's reputation to suppress power.

Reports seem to indicate that the Marlins will park Soler in left field defensively while going with a mix of Avisail Garcia and Jesus Sanchez to occupy centerfield and left field. Miami may have comprised defense with their offseason acquisitions, but there is no question that their offense has been vastly upgraded.

The National League East has been a hotbed for offseason signings and trades and the Marlins will have to get the very best out of Soler in order to compete. After a breakout season in 2019, the right-hander had a subpar follow-up campaign in 2020 before posting a meager .192 average and .658 OPS heading into the trade deadline last season as a member of the Royals. Soler was then traded to the Braves and ended the season slashing .269/.358/.524 with 14 homers and 33 RBI over the last 55 games.

Fantasy managers will be drafting Soler for a power boost and while this may not be an ideal landing spot from a park perspective, there should be a reasonable expectation for 30-plus home run production. Over the past three seasons, the reigning World Series MVP has posted a barrel rate over 12 percent while being among the elite in max exit velocity and hard contact.

Soler will be due $12 million in 2022, $15 million in 2023, and $9 million in 2024 during the contract with an opt-out after each of the first two seasons. The 30-year-old can also earn an additional $4 million during the 2024 season by triggering plate appearance escalators in the contract.


Luis Urias Exits With Calf Injury

Brewers infielder Luis Urias was pulled from Saturday’s Spring Training game against the Rangers with a quad injury that he suffered while running the bases. The full extent of the injury will be unknown until sometime Sunday according to Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell.

Urias was expected to be the Brewers' everyday third baseman this season, so a lengthy absence would be a major blow to the team. The 24-year-old carried a .249/.345/.445 slash line with 23 home runs, 75 RBI, and five stolen bases in a breakout season last year.

In the chart below you can see the steady growth in Urias production as the season went on last year. In the first half the infielder carried a .237 average with 23 percent strikeout rate and 100 wRC+. In the second half Urias was able to improve to a 123 wRC+ on the back of a much-improved 16.7% strikeout rate and a .266 average.


Urias xwOBA


Fantasy managers may want to think about a backup in the event Urias misses time. Jace Peterson and Mike Brosseau are the likely in-house options to fill in at third base in Milwaukee.

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Quick Hits: Nationals third baseman Carter Kieboom has been diagnosed with a flexor mass strain in his right forearm and will likely be sidelined for some time. … Dodgers manager Dave Roberts plans to use a closer by committee approach in 2022. … Casey Mize tossed two scoreless innings while striking out three on Saturday. … Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blasted his first home run of the spring in a spring training game versus the Phillies. … Aaron Nola struck out five but allowed two solo home runs during his spring debut. … Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is searching for a fifth starter on the trade market. … Pablo Lopez tossed two scoreless frames with four strikeouts versus the Astros. … Reds shortstop Jose Barrero has been sidelined with left wrist soreness. … Diamondbacks reliever J.B Bukauskas has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 teres major muscle strain and is expected to be sidelined for months. … Drew Smyly signed a one-year $5.25 million contract with the Cubs. … Jonathan Villar officially signed a one-year $6 million contract with the Cubs. … Mitch Keller was struck on the leg by a line drive Saturday and is day-to-day with a left thigh contusion. … Justin Upton will be getting reps at first base during the spring. … Ryan Tepera signed a two-year $14 million contract with the Angels. … Veteran reliever Joe Smith signed with the Mariners. … Tigers pitcher Michael Pineda may not be ready for opening day due to visa issues. … Red Sox re-signed Hansel Robles to a minor league contract. … Garrett Whitlock is in contention for a spot in the Red Sox starting rotation according to manager Alex Cora.