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Soler, Giants finalize $42M, three-year contract

Jorge Soler Miami Marlins Jorge Soler - The Canadian Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jorge Soler smiled when asked whether he could become the first right-handed batter to hit a splash shot into McCovey Cove beyond AT&T Park's right field wall.

“I don't know,” he said Sunday after his $42 million, three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants was finalized.

All 102 splash hits since the ballpark opened in 2000 have been by lefty batters, including 35 by Barry Bonds.

“I expect to have good numbers there,” Soler said through a translator. “The park is going to dictate where the ball falls.”

Of Soler's 170 home runs, 104 were toward center, 58 were pulled to left and just eight to the opposite field in right, according to Baseball Reference.

"Most of his power is over in left, but I wouldn't put anything past him," Giants manager Bob Melvin said.

No Giants batter has hit 30 or more homers since Bonds in 2004.

“I wasn't aware until a few friends of mine made me aware of it after I signed here," Soler said.

The Cuban outfielder and designated hitter gets a $9 million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million this year and $13 million in each of the following two seasons.

Soler, who turns 32 on Feb. 25, was a first-time All-Star last season with Miami. He played 137 games for Miami last season, batting .250 with 36 home runs and 75 RBIs. He spent 102 games as DH and 32 in right field.

Soler's total games were third-most in his 10-year big league career that included time with the Chicago Cubs (2014-16), Kansas City (2017-21), Atlanta (2021) and the Marlins (2022-23). He appeared in all 162 games for the Royals in 2019, then 149 with Kansas City and the Braves in 2021.

Melvin said playing on artificial turf had impacted Soler's durability. Most of Soler's time is likely to be as a designated hitter in the cleanup spot.

“We kind of want to bubble wrap him and get him to the season,” Melvin said jokingly. “But there will be times you see him in spring training (in the outfield).”

“The other thing that I bring to the table is a lot of energy," Soler said. “Like a good Cuban, I like to have fun in the clubhouse. I like to joke around and keep everybody loose.”

Soler will donate $80,000 to the Giants Community Fund this year and $65,000 in each of the following two seasons.

Right-hander Austin Warren was put on the 60-day injured list to open a roster spot. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery last May 17.