Soler Has Not Reached His Potential
The other part of the argument against trading Davis is that Soler hasn’t added any value to the Kansas City Royals. In fact, according to Baseball Reference, he has a negative-1.0 WAR. (Davis, for what it’s worth, has a 1.8 WAR.)
It would have been one thing if Davis excelled with the Cubs, while Soler lived up to his potential this season. That just didn’t happen.
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To be clear, Soler might end up being an All-Star outfielder for the Kansas City Royals. We might look back on this trade in 2025 or even 2018 as a great move. (Remember Davis is a free agent after this season, which makes it even easier to argue he would have still done well in Kansas City this season with it being a contract year.)
But in regards to 2017, this trade hurt the team. Had Soler been the starting right fielder throughout the season, it could be argued—even if he struggled—that the deal was worth it given the age and control (contract-wise) of the two players. However, Soler has had a hard time with the Kansas City Royals and couldn’t stay healthy early in the season.
Soler showed a lot of promise during an extended stint with Triple-A Omaha, and it’s possible he could be a major piece of the impending Kansas City Royals rebuild. For this year, though, the team needed Davis.