Yoan Moncada to Represent Cuba at Upcoming World Baseball Classic

Yoan Moncada is going native

Cubans signed with Major League Baseball organizations or other foreign clubs, including the 27-year-old Cuban professional baseball third baseman for the Chicago White Sox, will for the first time join local stars on the national team that’ll play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, according to officials.

Yoan MoncadaThe Cuban Baseball Federation long defended the idea of amateurism and punished those who left the island to seek their fortunes in professional baseball.

But that changed when a program on state television announced the roster of 30 players for Cuba’s national team that will play in the international tournament that begins March 8 in Taiwan.

In addition to Moncada and his teammate Luis Robert, plus three players from Triple-A rosters: infielder Andy Ibanez of Detroit Tigers affiliate Toledo Mud Hens, right-hander Miguel Romero of the Oakland Athletics’ Las Vegas Aviators and right-hander Ronald Bolanos of the Kansas City Royals‘ Omaha Storm Chasers.

Also on the team will be outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who played for the New York Mets but has not been in the majors since 2018.

Two Cubans who play in Japan were picked, outfielder Yurisbel Gracial of the Pacific League‘s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and catcher Ariel Martinez of the Central League‘s Chunichi Dragons.

To arrange participation of the MLB players, Cuba had to get special permission from the U.S., since Washington maintains sanctions on Cuba. Under the agreement, those players are barred from coming to Cuba to work with the team.

Baseball is the national sport in Cuba but economic difficulties, the philosophy of restricting the movement of athletes and the temptations of professional contracts abroad have decimated the game on the island.

Boston Red Sox Acquire Adalberto Mondesi from Kansas City Royals

Adalberto Mondesi is seeing red (sox)…

The 27-year-old Dominican American professional baseball shortstop has been acquired by the Boston Red Sox from the Kansas City Royals for left-handed reliever Josh Taylor, providing middle-infield depth to buttress losses this winter to free agency and injury.

Adalberto Mondesi The Red Sox also will be receiving a player to be named or cash considerations as part of the deal.

The Red Sox also officially announced their one-year contract with outfielder Adam Duvall and designated right-handed reliever Matt Barnes for assignment in a corresponding move. The 32-year-old Barnes, who has spent his entire nine-season major league career with the Red Sox, was 0-4 with four saves and a 4.31 ERA last season.

Mondesi, whose star-level tools made him a top prospect but whose inability to stay healthy has limited him to 358 games in seven seasons, is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee. Boston lost shortstop Xander Bogaerts to the San Diego Padres and second baseman Trevor Story to internal bracing surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, leaving a significant middle-infield gap.

Enrique Hernandez, who has played center field for the Red Sox over the past two seasons, is expected to take over at shortstop, where he has played 100 career games.

Mondesi has spent most of his career at shortstop, though he has dabbled at second and third base in the past. He will make $3.045 million this season.

Kansas City once saw Mondesi as a foundational player in its rebuild, and he looked the part in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, hitting for power and stealing 75 bases with his elite speed. For him to be packaged with a player to be named later and return only a reliever illustrates how far Mondesi’s stock has fallen. Over his seven seasons, Mondesi’s career line is .244/.280/.408 with 38 home runs and 133 stolen bases.

Taylor, 29, has been effective in his two full seasons with the Red Sox but missed all of 2022 with a back injury.

In 2021, he struck out 60 in 47⅔ innings, walked 23 and allowed only two home runs. Taylor, who has thrown multiple bullpen sessions recently and is expected to be healthy in time for spring training, will join Aroldis Chapman — who recently signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal — Amir Garrett and perhaps Angel Zerpa as left-handers in the Royals’ bullpen.

Kansas City might not be done dealing, either. Earlier in the week, it traded center fielder Michael A. Taylor to Minnesota, and sources told ESPN the Royals have spoken with teams about utilityman Hunter Dozier — who’s owed $17.25 million over the next two seasons — and infielder Nicky Lopez, who had a WAR of 4.2 in 2021.

Eloy Jimenez Hoping to Reclaim Outfield Role Over Designated Hitter Slot

Eloy Jimenez is hoping to head out(field)…

While the 26-yearold Dominican professional baseball player could spend a lot of time at designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox, he has other plans.

Eloy JimenezJimenez says he’s preparing to play more games in the outfield, especially in right, after Chicago signed left fielder Andrew Benintendi to a $75 million, five-year contract. The White Sox also have Luis Robert in center, to go along with Gavin Sheets and prized prospect Oscar Colás in the mix in right.

Jimenez was sidelined for a couple of months last season after he had surgery in April to repair a torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee. He returned in July and finished with a career-high 50 starts at DH — not exactly his favorite opening in the lineup.

Asked whether he would embrace the DH role this year, Jimenez responded: “I don’t know.”

“Last year, when I was DH’ing more than [playing] the outfield, it was because I got surgery. And I understand that,” he said. “But this year, I’ve been working really hard to play the outfield more than DH. So I don’t really think that I’m going to accept it, because if I’m working hard, I’m going to get better, and I want to play in the outfield.”

Jimenez has been a bit of an adventure in the outfield since he made his major league debut with Chicago in 2019. He missed the start of the 2021 season after he ruptured his left pectoral tendon trying to make a defensive play during an exhibition game.

But he remains a force at the plate, and there is no questioning his importance to the White Sox.

After Jimenez returned last year, he hit .305 with 15 homers, 47 RBIs and an .895 OPS in his last 73 games. He bashed 31 homers during his rookie year in 2019, and then batted .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 55 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Chicago went 81-81 in 2022 and missed the playoffs after reaching the postseason in the previous two years.

“We just need to be healthy; that’s the key right now,” Jimenez said. “If we’re healthy, we can do whatever because we are good on paper. But if we don’t play together as a team because of the injuries, we’re not going to do it, you know? We’re not going to make it.”

Jimenez said he has had “good communication” with Pedro Grifol since he took over as White Sox manager in November. Asked about his offseason conditioning, Jimenez playfully brushed off the question.

“I’m going to give you a surprise. I’m not going to answer right now,” said Jimenez, who plans to play for his native Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

“You’re going to see me in spring training.”

Left field was Jimenez’s only defensive position in his first four years in the majors, as he made 235 starts at the spot among 316 big league games. But Benintendi has spent most of his career in left, winning a Gold Glove in 2021 with the Kansas City Royals.

So Jimenez and Grifol have talked about him playing right, but the 24-year-old Colás is expected to get a long look at the position in spring training after he batted .314 with 23 homers last year in the minors.

Still, Jimenez has focused at least some of his work on learning how to play right.

“It feels way different because most of the contacts in left field you don’t know where it’s going to go,” he said. “Right field is a lot different because every ball the right-handed hitter hits most of the time has some backspin. It’s way better being there.”

In addition to the new position, Jimenez is preparing for his first season without Jose Abreu after the first baseman left Chicago for a $58.5 million, three-year contract with the Houston Astros in free agency.

Abreu has been a key figure in Jimenez’s career.

“It’s going to be a little bit weird but this is the business,” Jimenez said. “We need to move forward and play with what we have.”

Eric Hosmer Agrees to One-Year Contract with Chicago Cubs

Eric Hosmer is headed to the Windy City

The Chicago Cubs filled a need at first base and designated hitter, giving the 33-year-old half-Cuban American free agent a one-year contract, according to ESPN.

Eric Hosmer, Chicago will only have to pay Hosmer the minimum salary, according to ESPN sources, as he still has three years and $39 million left on a contract he signed with the San Diego Padres in 2018.

Hosmer was traded from the Padres to the Boston Red Sox last season, not long after San Diego acquired Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals.

Hosmer was released by the Red Sox at the end of the year.

Hosmer has a career .764 OPS while spending his best seasons with the Kansas City Royals who he helped to a World Series title in 2015.

Two years later, he signed an 8-year, $144 million deal with San Diego which runs through 2025. The Padres are paying most of that remaining salary.

Hosmer figures to see time mostly at designated hitter as well as first base. The team also has holdover Patrick Wisdom, who can play first, as well as prospect Matt Mervis. Mervis hit 36 home runs combined in three different levels of the minors last season, but it’s not clear if he’ll make the team out of spring training.

Last season, Hosmer had a hot April — compiling an OPS over 1.000 — but cooled off for the final months of the year. From May to October, his OPS was just .636.

The signing is part of a longer term plan by the Cubs who are attempting to improve in 2023 after a 74 win season but also have an eye on competing at a higher level in the coming years. The deal should be viewed similar to Cody Bellinger‘s one-year contract — as a bridge to younger prospects who aren’t quite ready for the majors.

Along with Mervis potentially taking over at first base, the team is hoping centerfield, where Bellinger plays, will be manned by Pete Crow-Armstrong soon. He was acquired in a trade with the New York Mets in July 2021.

Hosmer joins Bellinger, shortstop Dansby Swanson, pitcher Jameson Taillon and catcher Tucker Barnhart as key offseason acquisitions for Chicago.

Carlos Santana Agrees to One-Year, $6.7 Million Contract with Pittsburgh Pirates

Carlos Santana is headed to the crow’s nest…

The 36-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball designated hitter and first baseman, nicknamed “Slamtana,” has agreed to a one-year, $6.7 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, pending the results of a physical, according to ESPN.

Carlos SantanaSantana finished with a league-average OPS last year, hitting .202/.316/.376 between stints with the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. But his expected numbers, based on how hard he hit the ball (an 81st-percentile exit velocity) and his elite walk rate (97th percentile), projected far better results, something that drove his market.

Further, nobody was shifted a higher percentage last year than Santana, who saw altered defense in 356 of his 362 left-handed batting appearances. With the ban of the shift coming in 2023, the switch-hitting Santana could see a significant benefit.

After a midseason trade to the Mariners, Santana emerged quickly as a leader, something the Pirates — whose oldest position player on the 40-man roster is 31-year-old Ji-Man Choi, for whom they traded earlier this winter — desperately need.

Santana is entering his 14th season and has a career line of .242/.359/.432 with 278 home runs and 925 RBIs.

He will rejoin Pirates manager Derek Shelton, who was the big league hitting coach for Cleveland when Santana joined the organization following a trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.

Still a strong defensive first baseman, Santana is best known for his plate discipline and power. He has posted walk rates of greater than 13% in every big league season and hit at least 18 home runs in each of his 11 full years in the major leagues.

The Pirates, whose payroll was among the bottom five in baseball this year for the fifth consecutive season, are expected to further to add via free agency or trades this winter, a young core led by center fielder Bryan Reynolds, shortstop Oneil Cruz, and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. Starter Mitch Keller and closer David Bednar anticipate the arrival of catcher Henry Davis, second baseman Nick Gonzales and right-hander Quinn Priester.

Carlos Beltran Among 14 Newcomers on MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Carlos Beltran is in the running for a special place in Major League Baseball history…

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican former professional baseball player is among 14 newcomers on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America‘s MLB Hall of Fame ballot.

Carlos BeltranBeltran played as an outfielder from 1998 to 2017 for the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

Beltrán was the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 1999 while with the Royals. He was named to nine MLB All-Star Games and won three Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards.

Beltrán was the fifth player to reach both 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases and just the fourth switch hitter with 400 home runs. He has the highest success rate in stealing bases (88.3%) of any major league player with 300 or more career attempts. He also joined the 30–30 club in 2004. In 2013, Beltrán was named the recipient of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. He retired after the 2017 season, winning a World Series title with the Astros.

Other players appearing on the ballot for the first time include John Lackey, Jered Weaver, R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, Francisco Rodríguez, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain. They’re joined by Jacoby Ellsbury, Jayson Werth, Mike Napoli, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta and Andre Ethier, the Hall and the BBWAA announced.

Holdovers include Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner. Rolen received 249 of 394 votes last year (63.2%), when David Ortiz was elected with 307 votes (77.9%), 11 more than the 75% needed. Helton was on 205 ballots (52%) and Wagner 201 (51%).

Voters denied several stars tainted by steroids and scandal.

Barry Bonds (260 votes, 66%), Roger Clemens (257, 65.2%) and Curt Schilling (231, 58.6%) were dropped after their 10th appearances on the ballot last year and are among eight players who will appear on the ballot of the Hall’s contemporary baseball era committee, which meets December 4 in San Diego ahead of baseball’s winter meetings.

Other holdovers on the BBWAA ballot include Andruw Jones (163 votes last year, 41.1%), Gary Sheffield (160, 40.6%), Alex Rodriguez (135, 34.3%), Jeff Kent (129, 32.7%), Manny Ramirez (114, 28.9%), Omar Vizquel (94, 23.9%), Andy Pettitte (42, 10.7%), Jimmy Rollins (37, 9.4%), Bobby Abreu (34, 8.6%), Mark Buehrle (23, 5.8%) and Torii Hunter (21, 5.3%).

Kent, who received his highest percentage last year, will appear on the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time.

BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Any players elected will be inducted into the Hall at Cooperstown on July 23 along with anyone elected by the contemporary baseball era committee.

A-Rod, a three-time MLB MVP and 14-time MLB All-Star who hit 696 home runs, was suspended for the 2014 season for violating MLB’s drug policy and collective bargaining agreement, and Ortiz’s name was alleged to have appeared on a list of players who tested positive during 2003 survey testing.

Pedro Grifol Lands First MLB Manager Job with Chicago White Sox

Pedro Grifol is headed to The Windy City for his first Major League Baseball manager job…

The 52-year-old Cuban American former-professional-baseball-player-turned-coach has been named the new manager of the Chicago White Sox.

Pedro Grifol,Grifol has been brought in to help restore the swagger that disappeared during a disappointing season this year.

“It’s essential,” general manager Rick Hahn said.

The White Sox made it official on Thursday, announcing Grifol is taking over for Hall of Famer Tony La Russa. Grifol had agreed to take the job earlier in the week.

Hahn also said pitching coach Ethan Katz and bullpen coach Curt Hasler are being retained. The White Sox hired former Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo as bench coach.

Grifol brings experience in a variety of coaching and scouting roles at the major and minor league levels. He spent the past three seasons as the Kansas City Royals‘ bench coach. And now, he has his first managing job in the majors.

“This is an extremely talented ballclub,” Grifol said. “And it was a really difficult club to prepare for because if the energy was high, they can beat anybody in the game. And if the energy wasn’t, we were able to have some success against them. My job — and my staff’s job — is gonna be to make sure that that energy is high every night and we’re prepared to win a ballgame.”

The White Sox came into the season with soaring expectations coming off back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history. Instead, they were one of baseball’s biggest disappointments.

They went from running away with the division to finishing second in the AL Central at 81-81 and missing the postseason. La Russa missed the final 34 games because of health problems and announced he would not return, ending a disappointing two-year run with the franchise that gave him his first job as a big league skipper.

It’s now up to Grifol to help restore the vibe the White Sox had following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. That team led by AL MVP José Abreu and young stars like Tim Anderson gave Chicago its first playoff appearance since 2008.

The White Sox then fired manager Rick Renteria and made a surprising choice to replace him. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf lured his longtime friend La Russa out of retirement even though he hadn’t filled out a lineup card since leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship.

“We were extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish in the early parts of this rebuild and the position that we were in a few years back,” Hahn said. “Even though we decided that we had to make a change after 2020, I think it was pretty clear that the arrow was pointing up for us. And thus far, what we’ve been able to show for that is one division title and a first-round exit. That’s not who we envisioned ourselves being, and part of that disappointment I think permeated the way the clubhouse was viewed — and viewed itself.”

The White Sox were hit hard by injuries, with Anderson and sluggers Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert missing significant time because of injuries.

Catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoán Moncada also had health issues, and they underperformed when they were on the field.

There were embarrassing breakdowns on the bases. The defense was a problem, and an unbalanced lineup that was heavy with right-handed hitters had issues. Even so, the White Sox believe they have the core to compete, that their window isn’t shut.

Hahn said an initial list of candidates for the managing job swelled from about 22 or 24 to 30. Grifol was the second of eight to get first-round interviews before the list was whittled down.

The finalists met in Arizona with Hahn, Reinsdorf and executive vice president Ken Williams.

Grifol, a former minor league catcher, spent the past 10 seasons in a variety of coaching roles with Kansas City under former managers Ned Yost and Mike Matheny. He was part of teams that captured back-to-back pennants and won the World Series in 2015. He also worked for the Seattle Mariners for 13 years as a coach, scout and manager.

Grifol said getting the call from the White Sox that the job was his was “extremely emotional.”

“I’ve been in this game for a long time,” he said. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was manage a baseball team. It didn’t matter if it was the minor leagues or the big leagues, I wanted to manage. This game has a tendency to kind of grab you and take you other places, and if you don’t check yourself, you’re gonna end up somewhere where your passion doesn’t sit. That’s where I was.”

Kansas City Royals Trade Carlos Santana to Seattle Mariners

Carlos Santana is headed west…

The Kansas City Royals have traded the 36-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball designated hitter and first baseman, nicknamed “Slamtana,” and nearly $4.3 million to the Seattle Mariners for right-handers Wyatt Mills and William Fleming, clearing the way for Kansas City to bring up hot prospect Vinnie Pasquantino.

Carlos SantanaPasquantino was not in the starting lineup against the Texas Rangers on Monday night because of tight travel schedules, but Royals general manager J.J. Picollo and manager Mike Matheny expect his big bat to be in the lineup regularly.

“When I was growing up, I had a dream of playing professional baseball. But I just enjoy playing the game,” said Pasquantino, who was doing his laundry when he learned of his big league call-up. “I still do now, and I’m going to continue to try to do that as we move forward. I just love playing the game.”

The Royals optioned Mills, a 27-year-old relief pitcher, to Triple-A Omaha while designating right-hander Ronald Bolanos for assignment. Fleming, a 23-year-old with starting potential, was assigned to Class-A Quad Cities.

This is the second time Santana has been with Seattle, though the first lasted a mere 10 days. He was acquired along with J.P. Crawford from the Philadelphia Phillies for infielder Jean Segura, right-hander Juan Nicasio, and left-hander James Pazos on December 3, 2018; the Mariners then traded him away as part of a three-team deal with Cleveland and the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time should be different for Santana, who hit 19 homers in 158 games for Kansas City last season but was hitting just .216 with four homers through 52 games this season.

The Mariners were in search of a switch-hitter and an option at first base with leading hitter Ty France on the injured list with an elbow injury.

Santana has been better at the plate over the past month, hitting .357 with a 1.032 OPS in June.

The Mariners will pay $1.5 million of the remainder of Santana’s salary in the second year of a two-year, $17.5 million deal.

With the Royals last in the AL Central at 26-45 heading into their Monday night game against Texas, and Santana nearing the end of his contract, it was prudent for Kansas City to clear the way for Pasquantino to begin his big league career.

The 24-year-old was picked in the 11th round of the 2019 first-year player draft out of Old Dominion and was generally one of the Royals’ overlooked prospects until the past couple of seasons. Dubbed the “Italian Nightmare” by Hall of Famer George Brett in spring training, Pasquantino was hitting .280 with 18 homers this season at Omaha, and he was among the Triple-A leaders in extra-base hits, runs, homers and slugging percentage.

“I’m excited to be in the clubhouse every day and see what everybody’s about,” said Pasquantino, who joins top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. and catcher MJ Melendez among a wave of rookie position players in Kansas City.

“I’m coming into a clubhouse with some established veterans and I’m excited to learn from those guys,” he said.

Mills had a 4.15 ERA in eight appearances for Seattle this season, along with going 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 19⅔ innings for Triple-A Tacoma. Fleming was picked in the 11th round of last year’s first-year player draft out of Wake Forest and was 6-6 with a 4.92 ERA in 14 starts for Class-A Modesto this season.

Bolanos had a 4.42 ERA in eight appearances for Kansas City this season.

Jose Ramirez Agrees to Historic 5-Year, $150-Million Contract Extension with Cleveland Guardians 

Jose Ramirez is extending his time in Ohio…

The 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, an MLB All-Star third baseman and the Cleveland Guardians have agreed on a five-year, $124 million contract extension, according to ESPN.

Jose RamirezThe deal includes a full no-trade clause, per sources. With this year and the pickup of a 2023 option, Ramirez is guaranteed $150 million.

Cleveland set the table for this move during the offseason, picking up Ramirez’s $12 million contract option on November 5 after an MVP-caliber campaign for Ramirez. The formal transaction allowed the franchise some room for longer-term negotiations once baseball’s work stoppage ended.

The five-year, $124 million extension is the largest in franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Guardians had been one of five Major League Baseball teams that had never agreed to a $100 million contract with a player. The Oakland AthleticsPittsburgh PiratesKansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox are the others.

Ramirez, who has finished in the top three of the American League MVP voting three times in his career, was one of few bright spots for Cleveland’s inconsistent offense during the team’s final season with its old nickname. He hit .266 with 36 home runs, 103 RBIs and 27 steals in the final year of what was a team-friendly $26 million, four-year contract.

“I would really like to stay,” Ramirez said after Cleveland finished 80-82 last year, the club’s first losing season since 2012. “But there’s no rush. I would really like to stay here the rest of my career. But we have to wait to see what happens. I would love to see what they have to offer.”

The veteran’s future has been a hot topic during spring training in Goodyear, Arizona, and manager Terry Francona was not afraid to open up about it last month.

“I think Jose knows how we feel about him,” Francona told reporters during a March 17 media availability. “In this age of blogging and the internet, there is so much out there that we could make ourselves crazy. I hope it doesn’t make him crazy. I don’t think it does.”

Chris Antonetti, Cleveland’s president, also addressed his star infielder’s future in Arizona last month.

“Without getting into specifics, I do think we’ll have some internal conversations,” Antonetti said about the new deal. “The timing of that is really hard to say when we’ll be able to do that, just because of the compressed nature of the offseason.”

Ramirez is the only position player left from Cleveland’s 2016 pennant-winning team, which lost the World Series in seven games. He has been in the majors since 2013, spending his entire career with Cleveland. In his first season, he appeared in just 15 games, but he has topped 120 games in five seasons since — and has stayed relatively healthy.

Francona expects to use Ramirez in the No. 3 spot in the batting order this season, telling reporters last month that it was safe to “ink” him in that spot moving forward.

The Guardians will open the year Thursday against the Kansas City Royals. In that game, right-hander Shane Bieber will become the 12th pitcher in franchise history to make three consecutive Opening Day starts.

Opening Day will also see the return of Francona to regular-season action for Cleveland after missing time because of toe surgery.

“It’s been a hard couple years, there’s no getting around it,” Francona said. “And I don’t want to act like a big baby because I know there’s people that have had way worst bouts than I had. But it’s not been easy.”

Jorge Soler Agrees to Thee-Year, $36 Million Contract with Miami Marlins

Jorge Soler is headed to the Sunshine State

The 30-year-old Cuban professional baseball outfielder and the Miami Marlins have agreed on a three-year, $36 million contract, according to ESPN.

Jorge SolerSoler’s deal includes opt-outs after the first two seasons, sources said. If he opts out, Soler would hit free agency again at age 31 next winter.

A bit player during the Chicago Cubs‘ drought-smashing victory over Cleveland five years ago, Soler was voted MVP of the Atlanta Braves‘ six-game World Series win over the Houston Astros. Soler hit .300 with three home runs and six RBIs.

Soler’s three World Series home runs matched the most for the Braves, equaling Hank Aaron in 1957, Lonnie Smith in 1991 and Ryan Klesko in 1995.

Marlins general manager Kim Ng said as Miami opened camp that the team had two needs: an outfielder — particularly a center fielder, which Soler hasn’t been, as he has primarily played right — and offense.

Soler does fit that bill. He has 121 home runs and 343 RBIs in 661 career games with the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago Cubs and the Braves. He led the American League with 48 homers in 2019, and hit 27 home runs in 149 games with the Royals and Braves last season.

Soler defected from Cuba in 2011, established residency in Haiti and made his big league debut in 2014.

MLB Network was first to report news of Soler’s agreement with Miami.