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Do the Cubs have an agreement with Jorge Soler??

Do the Cubs have an agreement with Jorge Soler??

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,

Very much so. RT @Carl9730@Kevin_Goldstein Are you taking seriously the Trib report that Soler to Cubs is all but done?

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,

I believe he has agreed, just can't officially sign yet. RT @davidrelliott:@Kevin_Goldstein Sarcasm on Soler? Or you think he IS a Cub?

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...

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  • I'm tempering my enthusiasm.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Me too, Alex. I'm very cautiously optimistic on this one, but there's enough smoke out there where I feel I can't completely ignore it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If Soler signs and and is sent to Peoria, that gives the potential Cubs Den outing to see the Chiefs play at Kane County in June an even more must see outing.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Also means we may have to buy our tickets very early!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No doubt.

  • I'm no CBA expert, so excuse my ignorance here. If the Cubs sign Soler to a minor league contract, do they still get 6 full seasons of team control once he reaches the majors? What about if it's a major league contract? (And I hope it isn't).

  • In reply to Eddie:

    It's probably an MLB contract but service time doesn't start until the player is in the majors. What the contract does is speed up that time frame for the player to start the clock, but once it starts it's like any other player.

    It's not ideal, but the Cubs really need to add potential impact talent, and Soler definitely gives them that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's more or less what I thought. It just means that by year 4, he's gotta be on the big league club or he'll be exposed to waivers. So be it. So long as the club control years stay in place.

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    I read the original piece that van dyke wrote and my question is if it is a 3-4 year deal, is there something that we are missing. Do the cubs see something that we aren't. Is this kid that good, or is there an option not being said.

  • In reply to Larry:

    There's probably more details like that that still haven't come out, but the Cubs will have more control than that. With Cespedes deal, the A's won't be able to offer him arb at the end of his contract, so he becomes a FA. With the Soler deal, it's likely the Cubs will be able to offer him arb and keep him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Of course, assuming there is a deal...

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, if this comes to fruition..it brings my appreciation of Theo and Co to an all time high..What they've done for the farm in 4 months is more than what Hendry had done in almost 9 years.. Really impressed with their efforts..

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Agreed! It would mean they would add two top 50 level prospects (Rizzo, Soler), plus Torreyes, Sappelt, Cates, and Concepcion...all of whom arguably rank among the team's top 20 guys.

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Luigi, you took the words out of my mouth!!!

    It's also amazing to me how often some of the posts we've discussed here have come to fruition. (assuming this is a done deal) John has been extremely accurate trying to pin down these moves by the front office prior to them happening. Good work John and fellow posters this blog is a joy to read!!

  • In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

    Thanks Bilbo!

  • Looks like I picked the wrong night to go to bed early. John, your better than CNN in keeping us up-to-date with breaking news, thanks.

  • In reply to Cliffy46405:

    Haha! Thanks! I always say I have insomnia, but my wife claims I'm just like a little kid who doesn't want to go to sleep because he's afraid he'll miss something. She's probably right.

  • Can't stop dreaming about how fun it would be to watch an outfield with Jackson, Szczur, and Soler! I know I'm getting a head of myself but projecting is fun. Add Rizzo at first, Baez at 3rd, Castro at short, Torreyes at 2nd,and Castillo behind the dish..............alright I'll stop but you got to admit the future looks a hell of a lot brighter than it did 4 months ago.

  • In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

    I'm the same way. Experience tells me that it's extremely likely that not all of these guys will pan out, but it doesn't stop me from dreaming about the possibilities!

  • If anything I think Jepstein have dramatically increased the athleticism in the minor leagues. I'm anticipating prospect updates throughout the season as much as I'm looking forward to the big league club getting things underway. Refreshing!!

  • In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

    Absolutely...athleticism and potential impact players has increased a lot considering it's the offseason and the Cubs didn't trade a major piece. Still have draft and international signing period coming up to add to that haul.

  • If the time line is accurate, the Cubs knew they had to deal in place with Soler, Before Cespedes signed. Which means they could've upped their offer but choose not to. Reason being they had deal in place for their primary target. Sound about right, John?

  • In reply to Cliffy46405:

    It's certainly possible. IMO, Soler was the main target, but they were hoping they could somehow get both. When that possibility was gone, they zeroed in on Soler and did what they could to get him to agree early. Don't know if they had an exact agreement, but maybe set some parameters?

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, But wasn't there reports out sunday about the 27.5 million offer for Soler. They may have begged him on sunday. Which meant there was still time to alter there latest proposal to Cespedes. Heading back to sleep now, alarm goes off at 430 anyway.

  • In reply to Cliffy46405:

    That's the rumor from Frisaro's article. I think it's the same source Van Dyck used as far as the money goes. You could well be right, Cliffy, just not enough info right now. It's certainly a plausible.scenario, though.

  • I can't wait to get out to Fitch Park on Saturday...I'm officially pumped!!!! I'm gonna need a scorecard to keep track of whose who and it's gonna be fun..

  • In reply to LouCub:

    I'm jealous...hope to get down there soon myself!

  • Yeeeeeeesssss.

  • It sounds like this is probably a done deal, and I always had the feeling that the Cubs were zeroing on Soler more than Cespedes anyway. As much as they wanted Cespedes, I think they wanted Soler more.

  • I know this won't be popular, but this is exactly why MLB needs caps on these international signings. 27 mil for a guy who is so young and you have so little amount of info in is crazy. Assuming he is three years away from the majors, you are paying him crazy money to just develop in the minors. I'm okay paying him a bonus, but to keep giving out these big league contracts to 19 year olds is really not a good precedent. If it weren't for the fact that this is all coming to an end with the new CBA, I'd be even more against it.

    I think Cubs would be nuts to include a "no arb" clause like Cespedes got. It makes sense for Cespedes with his age, because he wants to hit free agency with the chance at a big payday before he gets too old to cash in. Not the case with Soler. IF we do give him an MLB contract, it should include the normal 6 years of control.

  • In reply to jimmy mac1:

    It's exactly what baseball wants to control. Granted these bonuses are a little higher because they're the last players under the old CBA, but even the Dominican/Venezuelan signings began to get pretty high last year.

    Even still, small markets can compete better here than they can on the MLB free agent market. If we take these signs as an anomaly (Cuban players always get more anyway because they're so rare), the largest bonuses were in the $5m range. Ridiculous for a 16 year old kid, but small market teams can make that kind of investment to get a potential impact player rather than pay 100M+ on the free agent market.

  • Is this the same Dave Van Dyk that said the Marlins should be signing Cespedes any day soon, as the A's signed him the exact same day?? Just curious.

    I just bought 10 box seat tix for Friday June 2nd, Peoria at Kane County. It's Fireworks night too.

  • In reply to Munce:

    I meant Saturday June 2nd. If you've never been to Elfstrom Park, it's awesome. I live in Geneva. Now I have a really good reason to go more often, the Chiefs!

  • In reply to Munce:

    Yep, that's why I'm treating this news with a lot of caution. If Goldstein didn't support it, I probably wouldn't have put up anything at all on it.

    Nice 10 box seats!

  • If Soler is signed, I would expect him to have a similar trajectory as Castro.

  • In reply to GoCubs:

    It should take him about the same amount of time.

  • Baseball didn't have a level playing field until small market teams were able to exploit the draft and interntational signings. I'm not sure if the CBA's new deal makes me mad because the Cubs finally figured this out or if it's because the guy on the south side of town had so much to do with it.

    It does scare me a little bit that Soler may not pan out, but is he worth the risk? Yes! The market is what it is. Prince Fielder got a ridiculous contract that he could almost never live up to. Might be the same for Pujols. And since the Cubs shed some salary and filled it with pitching and infield depth, they are in the perfect spot to take this kind of risk.

    Where are they at with their MLB salaries, by the way? How much is left in the coffer?

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I think the answer to your first question is both. The CBA was done largely so everyone can play by Reinsdorf's rules, which led him to have the worst farm system in baseball.

    They're at 105M according to Yahoo. Will have a news and notes piece up in a bit.

  • What the heck.. This tweet came in from Heyman about 45 minutes ago.

    cespedes II: #cubs, many mystery teams (#marlins?) in mix for 5-tool phenom jorge soler

  • In reply to Alex:

    That's why I'm taking this news with a grain of salt right now. Nothing is confirmed yet.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    There is another potential bonus to the Cubs Den outing to see the Chiefs play at Kane County in June.

    I hadn't thought about this, but Bubba Starling may be playing for the Cougars in 2012. The Royals haven't decided yet where he's going to start the season, but Kane County is a good possibility. I know it isn't Cubs related; but it would be cool to see another top prospect, even if he plays for the other organization.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Very true. Would really be excited to see Starling play.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not me! Lol. I'm treating this like it's a done deal, because from the beginning I've hoped the Cubs were going to land Soler, so it would be a dissapointment either way if they don't seal the deal.

    I remember about a month back you asked the readers who would be their top Cuban prospect choice if you could only pick 1. I had Concepcion #1 & Soler #2, so I would be very very happy if this goes down like it's supposed to now. And I don't care one bit how much they are paying for him. They are about to add what will be the top prospect to their system, and they have the budget for it, being the big market team they are in a cautious rebuilding phase.

    We've all talked about projecting the future lineup with these prospects, and know that history tells us not all will pan out, but the Cubs are starting to assemble multiple prospects at every position. Need more pitchers. Need more blue chippers, but they should have a chance over the next 2 summers at least, to add exactly that, through the draft & international signing period.

    The developmental player machine that Theo & Co has talked about is starting to take shape, & what I really like about the two 19 yr old Cuban players we are (hopefully) adding, is that they can be molded the way Theo wants.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Ha! Great point! We're going to be extremely disappointed whether this rumor is true or not, so maybe we should get excited.

    And very much agree on depth. We know not everyone will pan out, but the Cubs have 4 top 10 quality OF prospects, for example, in Jackson, Szczur, Golden, and (presumably) Soler. Three of those guys will make some top 100 lists this year and Golden may make it next year. If you shoot even just 50% you're doing extremely well.

  • this off-season baseball Cuban watch is way overdone . it's like the deer hunters in Wisconsin. they sit around in the cold for hours and then something starts rustling and they blast away, only to find out it's another guy or a squirrel.
    I'm sure these Cuban players are fantastic, but we're throwing around tens of millions of dollars like it's no big deal. the odds of Cespedes actually being worth $36mil or Soler worth $28mil are not all a sure thing. I think this whole Cuban thing is way overblown.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    Ha! Nice analogy. In the long run, maybe you're right, but teams like the Rangers have really supplemented their draft with high profile players from Latin America. I think it's a big picture thing too. Of course, Soler is a potential big impact prospect, but Cubs also making a statement that they'll compete for amateur talent. As they head into new CBA, maybe it helps them establish the presence they want down there to be able to find and sign guys that may be less interested in the teams with more money.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I like the idea that it puts our brand out there in a very important market. I still am sticking to my analogy of baseball fans in the offseason being like trigger happy cheeseheads.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    Understood. I guess we all want this to happen badly, so hopefully we're not jumping the gun on this. As I mentioned in the article, lots of hesitation but so much talk out there that it needs to be addressed. FWIW, no confirmation on the agreement as of this time and I don't expect we'd hear something one way or the other for awhile.

  • John
    Dont know if you saw or posted this as it just posted today :

    http://baseballprospectnation.com/2012/02/14/scouting-report-jorge-soler-of/

    Looks like he's got the raw tools & will be a fit in RF but risk is "high".

    Bottom line if this deal happens, we'll actuall get to see just how good the Cubs scouting department & player development that Theo put together actually is.

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    True, but don't forget that Oneri Fleita and scout Jose Serra are heavily involved. Both are holdovers. Serra the guy with credit for signing Castro, Lake, Marmol, W.Castillo, etc. so that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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