Old friend Jorge Soler might just help the Cubs re-sign Cody Bellinger

With a potential Bellinger suitor reportedly eyeing Soler, the path to the Cubs bringing the 2023 NL Comeback Player of the Year back could be getting a little clearer.

Milwaukee Brewers v Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers v Miami Marlins / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Even with KBO outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee brought into the fold, the San Francisco Giants desperately need more firepower in that lineup and, according to beat writer Susan Slusser, they could be pivoting off Cody Bellinger to another former Cubs outfielder in Jorge Soler.

Soler, who turns 32 later this month, is coming off the first All-Star selection of his career, thanks to a big year with the Marlins. The slugger popped 36 home runs and slugged .512 en route to a 128 OPS+ in his walk year, helping Miami punch a postseason ticket in the process.

As a team, the Giants ranked 27th in baseball in slugging percentage in 2023, and there are few bats left available on the open market more capable of turning that trend around than Soler, who, as Slusser also noted, is definitely a DH at this point - not a full-time outfielder.

A Jorge Soler signing would likely take the Giants out of the Cody Bellinger sweepstakes, clearing the path for the Cubs to re-sign him

If San Francisco signs Soler, it seems highly likely they'd be totally out on Bellinger, whose list of potential landing spots continues to wane. A reunion with the Cubs continues to feel likely, but there has been no substantive progress on talks - at least not that we've heard publicly.

Of course, Soler debuted with Chicago at 22 a full decade ago after signing a nine-year, $30 million deal out of Cuba. Always capable of putting on a prolific power display, the young outfielder never turned into the superstar the Cubs hoped for, at least not in Chicago, and he was traded to Kansas City ahead of the 2017 season for closer Wade Davis.

Soler blossomed with the Royals a few short years later, playing in all 162 games and mashing 48 home runs with a 137 OPS+. He went from Kansas City to Atlanta, winning World Series MVP honors with the Braves in 2021 before signing a two-year deal with Miami heading into the 2022 season.