2. Jorge Soler
In 2023, the Blue Jays front office went all-in on pitching and defense, and in some ways, the plan worked brilliantly. The Jays finished with the fourth lowest ERA in baseball, and by far the most defensive runs saved, winning the team Gold Glove.
And yet, despite this, they were only able to muster 89 wins behind an offense which fell to 11th in OPS, 16th in home runs, and 14th in runs scored, and too often felt helpless when the team fell behind by a run or two. (Surely, no Jays fan needs a reminder of the one run they put up over 18 innings while getting swept out of the playoffs.) Simply, it is unfathomable that the Jays would run it back in 2024 without adding some thump to the lineup.
Enter Jorge Soler. If there’s one thing the 6-foot-4 Cuban colossus of clout can do, it’s hit the ball over the fence. He put up 36 big flies in 2023, and since 2020, has averaged 34 per 162 games played, a number which does not even include his 48-homer season in 2019.
Really though, signing Soler would be more significant than just filling the Jays’ open DH spot with a proven masher the team so desperately needs. It would be a critical recognition of failure by the Blue Jays front office, a public admission, for perhaps the first time, that their proprietary algorithms are not infallible. If the Jays are to have success moving forward, this type of self-imposed reality check is something of a prerequisite.
Signing Soler won’t make up for dismantling the foundation of the most dynamic offense in baseball for the sake of run prevention, nor will it return José Berríos to the mound in the fourth inning of a win-or-go-home playoff game.
But it would be a good start.