Joel Sherman is reporting that the Yankees gave it a big effort, but lost to the Cubs in the bidding for Jorge Soler. Ken Rosenthal confirmed.
Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald is now also confirming it.
Source confirms to me what has been reported nationally: Jorge Soler to #Cubs
John Heyman of CBS is reporting that Soler will receive around $30M on a NINE year deal. I read that a few times to make sure that was right. If so, great deal by the Cubs. They'll have control of a potential star player through his prime years.
UPDATE: There is an opt-out clause that gives Soler the ability to go through the arbitration process if he chooses. The Cubs would still have him for 6 years of MLB service time at minimum, though if he's opting out for arbitration, the overall contract will get expensive, so not a bad deal for Soler either. He gets $30 guaranteed with a chance to make more and still become a free agent after 6 years time. As far as I'm concerned, it's worth the gamble because if Soler opts out, it means he's doing very well and looking for market value -- which I'm sure the Cubs will be happy to pay if he's an impact player entering his prime years.
I will also have to say that's a pretty creative deal by the Cubs front office.
Jorge Soler gives the Cubs another impact prospect, giving them 5 now with the addition of Albert Almora this year (assuming he signs as expected) and Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez within the last calendar year. Brett Jackson is the 5th guy I consider an impact prospect.
To show you how far the Cubs system has come in a short time, I'd rank Soler 5th right now, partially because of the unknown factor, but also because of the recent infusion of talent. Here is how I would rank the Cubs top 5 right now.
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Albert Almora, CF
- Javier Baez, SS-3B
- Brett Jackson, CF
- Jorge Soler, RF
Now I'm being ultra conservative here and I think most people will rate Soler higher because of his sheer upside. Keith Law of ESPN would rate Soler right behind Rizzo (with Almora first, once he signs).
As for the kind of player we're getting, Soler is a toolsy outfielder with his power and throwing arm standing out. He's a big kid who is expected to lose speed as he fills out, but should play a good RF. He also shows the potential to hit for average to go along with flashes of OBP skills. He's boom or bust, and could actually wind up at the top of this list by this time next year -- but I'll play it safe for now.
With international free agency still ahead and the Cubs having one of the bigger pools of money to spend, the Cubs are poised to add even more talent. And then there is the potential trades of Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza that could also add top prospects.
According to Law, Soler would have been a top 5 pick had he been in the draft. The Cubs have arguably added two top 5 amateur talents in Soler and Almora, as well as pitchers Pierce Johnson and Duane Underwood, who could have also gone in the first round, plus pitchers Paul Blackburn and Josh Conway, who some considered a top 50 talent before his injury.
It's going to get better, Cubs fans. Talent is on the way and there's still more to come.