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With the 2012 amateur draft completed and Cuban prospect Jorge Soler now in the fold, the Chicago Cubs have begun the long journey towards rebuilding. It is time for Cubs fans to start walking with them.
One of the league's top prospect gurus, Keith Law of ESPN, has chimed in on the recent OF Jorge Soler signing. According to Law, the newest Chicago Cubs prospect would have been a top talent in the 2012 MLB draft, but instead will get a fair market deal with the Cubs:
Had Soler been in this year's draft, he would probably have been a top-five pick on merit, definitely in the top 10. The fact that he got a reported $25 million to $35 million across nine years when the first overall pick signed for a $4.8 million bonus ... shows just how badly the draft underprices and underpays eligible players. Some of those savings are shifted to other prospects, but most ends up back in the pockets of MLB owners.
Law also reports the 20-year-old now ranks as the Cubs' No. 2 prospect behind only 1B Anthony Rizzo, but the value of the contract may be somewhat limited as Soler has an option to opt-out of the contract if he wants to undergo salary arbitration.
The Chicago Cubs -- competing, according to reports, with the big-budgeted New York Yankees -- have signed Cuban prospect OF Jorge Soler. And now the details from the rookie's deal are coming public. According to CBS's Jon Heyman, the Cubs have locked in the Cuban 20-year-old for a whopping 9 seasons for only $30M:
Soler got about $30M in cubs deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 11, 2012
soler deal is 9 years w/ cubs— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 11, 2012
And, as Heyman notes, the addition of Soler for so many years could give the Cubs a key position player for many years to come:
Soler deal makes great sense for #cubs. get a 2nd cornerstone type player to go with castro. and for NINE years (and $30M).— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 11, 2012
The latest word from the OF Jorge Soler rumors is that the Chicago Cubs have won the highly-prized free agent prospect:
Soler is widely considered a top prospect, despite being only 20 years old, and the Cubs have been among the top teams chasing Soler since he left his home country.
Terms of the deal have yet to be made public, but as recently as Sunday, many analysts were anticipating Soler would receive a 4-year contract, possibly on par with the lucrative rookie deal OF Yoenis Cespedes received from the Oakland Athletics in the previous offseason.
Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler is expected to agree to a four-year contract before tomorrow, as George A. King III and Mike Puma of the New York Post report. The bidding on Soler has been extremely heavy given the outfielder's talent level and upcoming spending limitations regarding amateur players that go into effect with the new CBA on July 2.
According to reports, the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves are the most aggressive bidders at the moment. All four teams have the substantial resources to make massive offers, with some analysts speculating that the ultimate contract could be worth more than Yoenis Cespedes' four-year, $36 million deal with the Oakland A's.
As King and Puma write, some scouts believe that Soler is actually a better prospect than Cespedes, who is now the starting center fielder for Oakland. The younger Soler likely won't be able to immediately hit the majors upon signing like his 26-year-old Cuban counterpart, though.
The Chicago Cubs have been tied to 20-year old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler for months. Soler is now ready to sign with a major league club after being granted free agency last week, and to the surprise of no one, the Cubs plan to go after the outfielder.
You don't normally hear a general manager speak so candidly about a free agent, but Cubs GM Jed Hoyer wasn't resorting to smokescreens in regards to the team's interest in Soler. Said Hoyer:
"We’ve obviously scouted him extensively – a lot of teams have," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "We had a similar situation with (Yoenis) Cespedes this winter and it’ll be intriguing. But certainly we’ve done our work on him. That doesn’t make us unique. That’s our responsibility – (to) scout him heavily and get to know him and we’ve tried to do that.
"We’ve been following this carefully and we certainly plan to be involved."
Don't expect this situation to linger: because of a rule in the new CBA, Soler must sign by July 2, when teams can no longer negotiate with international free agents.
Teams that want to bid on free agent Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler need to have those offers made by June 7, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. Soler was recently declared eligible to negotiate with all 30 MLB organizations, but he must sign before July 2 in order to avoid being impacted by the new CBA rules regarding international free agents.
According to Levine's sources, the agency that represents the outfielder, Praver and Shapiro management group, has let teams know that all bids must be in by June 7. That will give Soler time to decide on his first big league organization without having the bidding see effects of the new CBA rules.
Levine says that the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins and New York Yankees are expected to be heavy bidders on the 19-year-old slugger. The general expectation in the industry is that Soler will sign a contract worth around $25-35 million.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs' pursuit of Soler, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more from around the world of baseball, visit Baseball Nation.
Months ago, it was rumored the Chicago Cubs had reached an agreement totaling $27 million with Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. The report eventually proved premature, as Soler waited in limbo to be granted free agency. On Friday, it appears that has now happened.
According to a report, Jorge Soler is a free agent. The 20-year old has also been linked the White Sox, Indians, Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees, but the Cubs will enter the free agent derby as the probable front-runner.
Soler is likely to sign with a club before July 2, as the new CBA places restrictions on international spending after the date.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of this series, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue and Giants blog McCovey Chronicles. For more from around the world of baseball, visit Baseball Nation.
While the Oakland Athletics recently signed Yoenis Cespedes for $36 million, he's not the only major young outfielder coming out of Cuba this offseason. 19-year-old Jorge Soler is also commanding major interest from numerous teams, and MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports that the Chicago White Sox are among those teams.
According to Sanchez, Soler recently worked out with the Toronto Blue Jays, while the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and White Sox have also shown interest. He still hasn't been declared a free agent by MLB as he awaits residency in the Dominican Republic, and even then he still must be cleared by the U.S. Foreign Assets Control before he can actually sign.
Teams consider Soler to be a major young prospect, though, one that has legitimate five-tool potential once he develops. Expect the price to be significant, well over the $10 million that the Blue Jays spent in 2010 to sign Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.
After passing on Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes, the Chicago Cubs are reportedly in the lead for Jorge Soler, a fellow Cuban OF prospect, albeit one that is younger and further away from the majors. Soler would immediately improve what is seen by most as a middling Cubs farm system, but according to SB Nation's Grant Brisbee there's an even better reason for why Chicago, and other teams across baseball, should be going hard after Soler:
...[A]ccording to a highly placed source, talk of [Soler] already agreeing to a deal with the Cubs are not accurate and the reports from the Dominican Republic of a four-year deal for 27.5 million dollars with Chicago are ludicrous.
Word broke Thursday night that the Cubs had a four-year, $27 million contract prepared for when Soler finished the paperwork to officially become an MLB a free agent; however, it appears the competition for the Cuban star is still unfinished.
Kaplan lists the Cubs, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins among the teams pursuing Soler. The 19-year-old outfielder is widely believe to be the last remaining top free agent in a strong 2012 Latin American class.
For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.
The Chicago Cubs missed out on Cuban outfield Yoenis Cespedes today when the 26-year old signed a four-year deal with the Oakland Athletics, but it appears the Northsiders are very close to signing the other big prize free agent in Cuba: 19-year old outfielder Jorge Soler.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting Soler will sign a three or four-year contract for around $27 million. The 6-foot-3, 200 lbs. outfield is thought to have five-tool potential.
Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein has been busy answering questions about Soler on Twitter for the last 10 minutes. Here's what we gleamed: Goldstein believes Soler with be the Cubs' No. 1 overall prospect. Goldstein also thinks Soler will be in the minors for about three years. Goldstein added that if Soler was in the 2011 MLB draft, he would have been a top 10 selection.
Earlier this offseason, the Cubs signed 19-year old Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion.
For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, visit Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation, and to keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.