Chicago Cubs: If DH comes to the NL, could a Jorge Soler reunion work?

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Somehow, there are just weeks left in the 2021 MLB season. While this year has not been ideal for the Chicago Cubs, rule changes in 2022 could benefit the team moving forward. One of those that would fundamentally change how rosters are constructed would be the implementation of the designated hitter in the National League. 

While the designated hitter has been a mainstay in the American League for quite some time, it still has not been adopted by the National League. The universal DH was tested out during the 2020 abbreviated regular season, but it did not stick, and pitchers were given another season to step up to the plate. However, this year could have been their last chance to swing the bat, whether pitchers like it or not.

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Talks surrounded implementing a universal designated hitter in 2021, and conversations will probably continue throughout the offseason and into 2022. With each season, the likeliness of the designated hitter coming to the NL increases. Major League Baseball has run through different ideas to attract new fans, and the universal DH is just another tactic to add to the list. Many National League teams would benefit from a universal designated hitter, including the Chicago Cubs.

Keeping this in mind, the Cubs should make moves during the offseason knowing the universal designated hitter is more likely than not to come to fruition. One move that makes sense for this ballclub would be a reunion with 29-year-old right fielder and designated hitter Jorge Soler.

A reunion with DH Jorge Soler could make sense for the Chicago Cubs

Soler was with the Chicago Cubs from 2014 to 2016. He had three successful seasons, including the team’s World Series Championship run in 2016. From the looks of it, Jorge Soler had the makings of a star, and he lived up to his top outfield prospect ranking. The slugger posted a .344 postseason average with the Cubs and earned the nickname “Soler Power.” Yet, once he showed signs of success, his tenure with the team came to an end.

Following the 2016 season, Soler was traded to the Kansas City Royals in return for Wade Davis. Though he battled through injuries in 2017 and 2018, Soler found success again in the 2019 season with Kansas City. Just like he did in Chicago, he came in clutch and hit big homers with the Royals.

That year, Soler played in all 162 games for Kansas City, belting a career-high 48 home runs – finally living up to the hype that surrounded him dating back to his days as a Cubs prospect. He also spent the abbreviated 60-game 2020 with the Royals, slashing .228/.326/.443.

While he was looking for improvement in 2021, he performed even worse, slashing .228/.326/.443 during his time with Kansas City before being traded to the Atlanta Braves at the deadline. Soler has looked much better with Atlanta, slashing .275/.367/.533 with nine homers, 21 runs and 18 RBI thus far.

So far, Soler has been a decent addition for Atlanta, but that begs the question: would a reunion with him make sense for the Chicago Cubs. One of the biggest questions surrounding Soler following the trade was how he would handle being in the outfield after spending years as a DH in Kansas City. He might not be a Gold Glover by any means, but Soler has played good enough defense, and his offense has indeed contributed well to the Atlanta lineup.

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Like I said before, the universal designated hitter is likely to hit the league sooner than later. So imagine Soler reuniting with the Cubs at this point in his career, hitting DH as he did in Kansas City? That sounds great, right? Even if the designated hitter does not make its way to the NL, a Soler reunion could bring a fan favorite and a big bat to a ball club that could use it.