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Predicting 3 potential DH options for 2022

Jorge Soler, Atlanta Braves

Jorge Soler, Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves likely need a designated hitter for next season. So, what are their potential options heading into free agency?

The National League is likely to implement the designated hitter as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, once it’s finally agreed to after what could be a prolonged lockout. Rob Manfred is optimistic that a brief work stoppage could solve plenty of the league’s longstanding problems, and while he didn’t admit that the DH was one of those, it’s pretty clearly not optimal as currently implemented.

For those who are not aware, the American League currently employs a DH, while the National League does not. It’s lead to some awkward scenarios come the All-Star Game and World Series, where the team hosting the game determines whether there is a designated hitter for that game.

Come the World Series, the rule swings back and forth, depending on the ballpark. It’s…a lot to handle. A universal DH is ideal and appears likely moving forward. So, assuming that’s the case, who should a team like the World Series champion Atlanta Braves consider employing as their everyday DH?

Braves rumors: 3 potential DH targets

1. Jorge Soler

Soler makes a lot of sense as a long-term designated hitter, especially with the Braves outfield getting more crowded as Ronald Acuña returns from injury and Marcell Ozuna’s situation potentially resolving itself via league suspension and/or mediation.

Atlanta has Cristian Pache and Drew Waters waiting in the wings — two elite outfield prospects — as well as decisions looming on Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson and Eddie Rosario. All four outfield acquisitions by Alex Anthopoulos were critical in their eventual World Series run, but none arguably came up bigger than Soler.

Soler’s market value is fluctuating rapidly, as he put up huge numbers in the World Series, even winning MVP for the series. He became only the second Cuban player to win said award.

Soler slashed .269/.358/.524 with an .882 OPS and 14 home runs in just 55 games with Atlanta after an abysmal start to the season with Kansas City. He’s well worth whatever the market demands.

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