Red Sox

Red Sox reportedly among teams in talks with free-agent slugger Jorge Soler

Boston is also reportedly showing interest in bringing back Jose Iglesias.

Jorge Soler is reportedly drawing interest from the Red Sox in free agency. Elsa/Getty Images

The Red Sox have been quiet on the player transaction front since Major League Baseball ended the lockout on Thursday, but it appears they’re trying to make some moves.

Boston is one of five teams that’s “in talks” with Atlanta Braves free agent slugger Jorge Soler, MLB insiders Mike Rodriguez and Héctor Gómez reported Saturday. The Rangers, Astros, Marlins, and Dodgers are also among the teams discussing a deal with the right fielder, according to Rodriguez and Gómez.

Soler played a pivotal role in the Braves’ World Series run in 2021, hitting .300 with three homers in the Fall Classic to win World Series MVP. Atlanta acquired Soler from Kansas City prior to the trade deadline last season. After posting .192/.288/.370 splits with the Royals in 2021, Soler turned it around with the Braves, posting .269/.358/.524 splits.

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Soler’s been one of the game’s best power hitters over the last few seasons. In 2019, he hit an American League-leading 48 home runs, which helped produce 117 RBIs that season. In 2021, he hit 27 homers, including 14 in just 55 games with the Braves.

With Kyle Schwarber reportedly in demand on the free-agent market, Soler would make sense as a replacement for him. Soler was the Royals’ designated hitter for much of his four-plus seasons in Kansas City, but he also still plays in the field a good amount. With the Red Sox trading Hunter Renfroe, who started 133 games for them in right field last season, Soler would likely slot in as the Red Sox’ starting right fielder for 2022.

Prior to the lockout, MLB Trade Rumors projected Soler to sign a three-year, $36 million deal this offseason. As of Saturday, the Red Sox’ projected competitive balance payroll for 2022 is $203.7 million, which is $26.3 million short of the $230 million competitive balance tax threshold, via Spotrac.

In addition to showing interest in Soler, the Red Sox are also showing interest in re-signing shortstop Jose Iglesias, according to Rodriguez and Gómez. After beginning his career with the Red Sox, Iglesias returned to Boston in September 2021 after it signed him off free agency. Iglesias ended up starting 14 games at second base for the Red Sox in the season’s home stretch, posting a .356/.508/.915 slash line in 23 games.

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The Red Sox did make some moves prior to the lockout beginning in December, but it was mostly focused on the pitching staff. Boston signed starting pitchers James Paxton, Michael Wacha, and Rich Hill to deals.

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