Dodgers’ reported interest in Jorge Soler makes almost no sense
The lid is about to be blown off the free agency pot. The floodgates haven’t been fully busted open yet, but Los Angeles Dodgers fans can sense it’s going to happen soon.
LA has reportedly made an offer to star first baseman Freddie Freeman as fans wait for the big domino to fall. Signing guys like Hanser Alberto and Jake Lamb won’t exactly have anybody jumping out of their seats, but it’s certainly contributing to the buildup.
Late on Sunday evening, fans also learned the Dodgers had expressed interest in World Series champion Jorge Soler, who hit the open market after an incredible second half and postseason run with the Atlanta Braves.
What’s the front office’s plan here, though? The Dodgers have a full outfield with Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock, with Chris Taylor and Gavin Lux serving as depth options. They don’t have a DH, but you can bet that’ll be a rotating situation with Justin Turner, Max Muncy and others (especially if Freeman joins the fray).
Does Dodgers’ interest in Jorge Soler indicate a trade is on the way?
So where does Soler fit? Are the Dodgers just looking to have an embarrassment of riches or could we be bracing for a trade to clear room for the slugger? Can they even make room, though? Because Soler has only logged 60 career games in left field (he’s primarily a right fielder). Or is this just a backup plan for a permanent DH in the event Freeman chooses the Yankees?
Or is this some sort of smokescreen because both of the Dodgers’ division rivals (Giants, Padres) are looking for outfield help all over?
Another important aspect to think about is Mookie Betts’ health. He was hampered by injuries all of last year and could potentially benefit in the early going from a significant amount of DH reps to get back up to speed, especially with this offseason being interrupted by the lockout.
But now it seems like this is purely a DH move because the Dodgers were among the finalists for Nelson Cruz, who doesn’t play anything outside of DH, but he signed with the Nationals. Was Soler among the backup plans/safety nets?
Even so, how does this make the Dodgers more flexible unless there’s a plan to put Betts in at DH? We thought there were already an excessive amount of reps to go around between Muncy, Turner and Pollock. We’re going to add another two names to that list?
And with Soler’s lack of defensive versatility, it doesn’t seem like this would be a seamless match.