I'm writing this article with some hesitation, but the rumors out there are running rampant and I think it needs to at least be addressed. The chatter pretty much started with an article by the Tribune's Dave Van Dyck. I don't see anything in the piece that says there is an agreement, but Van Dyck said that the Cubs are "expected to add Soler...according to multiple reports from the Dominican Republic."
Later, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweeted the following,
If you are unfamiliar with the odd structure of Twitter, Goldstein was responding to the question from Carl9730 (who you may recognize as an occasional commenter here on Cubs Den). Later Goldstein addressed the situation again,
Goldstein does lend some credence to the original rumor with his statements, but I'm still waiting until we hear something more official, although it won't happen until Soler officially becomes a free agent and becomes unblocked by the U.S. Treasury's Department of Foreign Asset Control, at which point he'll be able to sign a contract.
The deal is reportedly for the $27.5M originally speculated by Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, although the number of years are uncertain.
If true, it would be a major signing for the Cubs, even if it's a bit of an overpay. According to Goldstein and others, he would immediately become the Cubs #1 prospect over Jackson, Rizzo, and Baez. Goldstein ranked him 38th overall in baseball.
If signed, Soler would start in A ball, probably either short season Boise but possibly Class A Peoria. The best case scenario is that he makes it to Chicago in 3 years.
I wrote more about Soler as a prospect yesterday.
Stay tuned. We're bound to hear more in the next few days...