Atlanta Braves: Why Eddie Rosario is a Better Option Than Jorge Soler in 2024
While Jorge Soler is having a resurgent season in 2023, he wouldn't be the right fit to replace Eddie Rosario on the Braves in 2024. Soler is playing on a $15 million player option this season. Next year, that option drops to just $9 million. Considering he is having one of the better years of his career, he isn't taking that option.
Soler is primarily a DH this season but he is not a stranger to the outfield. He is also not a stranger to negative defensive runs saved. There is no doubt that Rosario, who is average to above average (depending on which metric you look at), is vastly better defensively. Rosario actually ranks in the 70th percentile in OAA, which measures his ability to get to balls compared to other outfielders.
Don't let the few memorable eyesores fool you. Rosario is not that bad on defense! Soler is, though. Over 10 seasons in the big leagues, Soler has accumulated -55 defensive runs saved. As he gets older, that number is not getting better. The big man is in the 33rd percentile in spring speed. Give me Rosario's glove out there.
Soler is a strikeout machine. In the one year he played all 162 games, he led the league in strikeouts. Granted, he also led the league with 48 homers... but there's the tradeoff. Despite having a solid season in 2023, and leaving Braves fans with fond memories in '21, his career has been waves of inconsistency.
If I asked you who the better power hitter was, the quick and easy answer would be Soler. However, throughout their careers, Rosario and Soler have the exact same slugging percentage of .465. Soler has been violently streaky and many times he has been just flat-out bad.
He was bad as recently as all of 2022. You can also rewind to the first half of 2021 when he hit .192 with the Royals before being traded to the Braves. Soler could end up with a price tag that's double that of Eddie Rosario but it doesn't appear we would be getting double the player.
Eddie Rosario's $9 million option is the best deal on the market for the Braves in 2024.