Cubs win bidding for Soler

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.

  1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  2. Albert Almora, CF
  3. Javier Baez, SS-3B
  4. Brett Jackson, CF
  5. 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.

Filed under: International players

Tags: Jorge Soler

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  • today is hands down one of the best days of 2012. thank you t//j

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Your welcome. Couldn't get that out fast enough. I'll keep adding to it as I go.

    Report is 9 yr deal for 30 million. Yes, 9.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    YES 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    its really funny because your first reaction is YES!!!! WE GOT HIM!!!!!
    then comes 30 mil?!?!??! thats a lot...
    ....
    ....
    9 years!!!!!! DID WE JUST ROB A CUBAN?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I'm still having trouble believing it.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    now thats what im talking about. 4 years was absurd for this guy. This makes sense. over the course of 9 years 30 million is chump change. especially for a potential impact player like this.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I like it also because it means they won't have to rush him.

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    One word...... WooooooooooooooHoooooooooooooooooo!!

  • Woo Woo!!!

  • Great news! I was worried about the Dodgers making a huge bid with their new owners wanting to make a splash. That's a very good top 5 no matter how you rank them. I might put Soler as the #1 prospect based on his huge ceiling.

  • So is Soler left handed? I thought he was a righty

  • In reply to JR Cubbies:

    Yes, Soler is a righty. I think that might be a pic of Despaigne or Abreu.

  • In reply to JR Cubbies:

    I had a Cuban prospect folder and in my excitement, I clicked on the wrong photo :) It's been fixed.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ha. No worries, just checking. I would have done that too!

  • Nice, really pleased this happened, been a real good week for adding talent, with a couple trades looming could get even better over the next few weeks

    Real interested to see where soler starts

    Fine work jed and theo

  • In reply to Andrew13:

    Probably will get in shape in AZ and then end up in Peoria, I think. But at 9 years they won't have to rush him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah i posted before i heard the 9 years, unreal!

    Sweet!

  • So Almora ahead of Baez? Because of attitude?

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I actually think Baez is a good kid. I think Almora is just so advanced right now as a ballplayer, but Baez definitely has the higher ceiling.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Almora also has more defensive value since he will almost certainly stay in CF and is projected as an excellent defensive player already. If Baez was sure to stay at SS, it might be a different ranking. Baez's bat can be special anywhere, but at SS it would be unreal.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Good point Irish. Positional value always a key when ranking.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John I definitely agree with you on Baez being a good kid! I was in Peoria on sat and my bro asked him for an autograph when he was at opposite end of dugout and be looked and nodded and 5 mins later came over to sign even though was told he couldn't cuz umpires were on field. Once he was on field, he was one of 3 players to keep his hand on heart during national anthem and was only one to keep his hand on heart unti flag was completely off field with the boy scouts. Major respect to the kid, he presented himself quite well!

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    Thanks for that great story Joshnk24. The more I talk to people, the more I think a lot of the negative stuff on Baez is way overblown. Everything I've seen and heard makes me believe he's a good kid who is just 19...I know I did a lot of cocky things when I was 19. He'll be fine.

  • THis is awesome!

  • Almora much better defensively . 80 baseball makeup. Baez should hit for more power , both should hit for average. I would say 2 very different but very skilled players .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Tough call, as a lot of these guys are. You can make an argument for 3 or 4 of those guys as top prospect overall. When is the last time you could say that about the Cubs?

  • Sweet News John!! really hope its true at this point but i know you prob wouldnt put it out in a headline like that if you were not confident - great MONDAY! when is the international free agency & how does that work compared to our regular draft?
    thanks again JA!

  • In reply to mditka:

    So many big time sources confirming that I'm rolling with it. Has to be true.

  • Nine year deal! Wow, just... wow. That's fantastic if true. Major props to our front office. Christmas comes early this year.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Unbeliveable! And there's more to come.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Do I lose man points if I start doing the Snoopy dance?

    Ah, screw it! *Snoopy dance*

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    No, you earn points for that one :)

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    Every trade now (Dempster, Marmol, Barza etc) has to have a SP with upside as a #1 or #2 in return. This pitching heavy draft should help too.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Agreed. Pitching should be a huge priority but Cubs should still get whatever impact prospects they can

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    2015 Cubs lineup?
    LF Brett Jackson
    SS Starlin Castro
    3B Javier Baez
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    RF Jorge Soler
    CF Albert Almora
    2B Junior Lake
    C Castillo/Clevenger platoon

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    In reply to Louie101:

    amazing....Thought I was looking at the tampa bay Rays with all that homegrown talent

  • In reply to Louie101:

    I like it. Now let's get some pitching.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I feel with this addition we have one of the best collection of young position players in the majors so from here on out pitching, pitching pitching. Thought I think our pitching prospects at the lower levels will be in the top 100 overall. I really like Dillon Maples, Duane Underwood, and Josh Conway. until they come I like Shark, Garza(or Drabek/Hughes), Wood, Volstad, and Rusin for next year.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Agreed. Hard to beat that top 5, though it will become a top 4 in two weeks when Rizzo is promoted, then a top 3 when BJax gets the call a little later.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Louie - you think your line-up might be slightly more fun to watch than this one? :)

    Catcher Steve Clevenger
    First Base Bryan LaHair
    Second Base Darwin Barney
    Third Base Ian Stewart
    Shortstop Starlin Castro
    Left Field Alfonso Soriano
    Center Field Joe Mather
    Right Field David DeJesus

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    LOL!

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    Thanks I just threw up the ice cream I ate an hour ago :(

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    In reply to Louie101:

    Let's also watch Zeke DeVoss at 2B.... I love this kid!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I really like DeVoss as well.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Sweet lineup. But I think Lake may well get moved to LF at some point.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    RF to take advantage of that cannon of an arm. Although if Lake, Almora, and Soler wind up being in the OF, they all have great arms, so it probably doesn't matter who plays where!

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    In reply to Louie101:

    Looks like you were nerding out just like me. I didn't see your post and put up a lineup as well. We're almost exactly the same except for the order in BJax and AA. Well done sir......well done.

  • Yes!! Even thou I felt the Cubs would get Soler, hearing the confirmation is sweet news. Like you said John, let's get some pitching!!

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Let's load up on arms now!

  • Wow! Can you imagine the line up?!

  • In reply to pkm613:

    If their top 5 guys pan out...then you have a plus bat at SS in Castro. Might be fun.

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    Great news.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Indeed!

  • Projecting a 2015 lineup is bit of a fools errand. I would hazard a guess that at least half of the names on the list will be not appear for the Cubs in 2015. Projecting talent that in most cases is several years away from ever making the bigs is just too hard.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Sure. But it's a fun fool's errand :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with both points. On one hand, I like to have fun and to dream (I think you can't be a Cubs fan at this point if you don't like to do those things), but on the other it would indeed be interesting to have a macro-level projection here.

    John, do you or Tom have any sources that work well with big-picture projections? For instance, I'm wondering what percent of, say, Baseball America's Top 5 prospects list become All-Stars, starters, bench, don't make it, etc. Not only would this info be fun, but it'd also be interesting to think about in terms of potential trades, like with Garza.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    I'm sure that's something I could research when I have time, though I'm hoping someone out on the internet has already done something like that!

  • How many of You are secretly looking at this kids tools and seeing a very similar skill set , size ect to a fella named Sammy ....

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Well yes, except sammy was 5'8, not 6'3...

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    While telling people at work about what the Cubs accomplished today. I told them the Cubs may have signed their next Sammy Sosa.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Let's hope so. Has the size, arm, speed, and power. Looks like a solid hitter too.

  • That sounded really dirty , sorry.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Could have been worded better ;) Interesting comparison. Definitely has power and arm, like Sammy he'll slow down as he gets bigger. Some similarities.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    My Kool-Aid induced projection of Soler is Vlad Guerrero.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I'll have some of that Kool-Aid, please.

  • John, I am not sure I am grasping this 9 years at 30 million. You mean if Jorge makes the bigs in say 2015, that he is still locked in for another six years for the remainder of the total contract, with no arbitration down the road. That sounds like a great deal for the club. Although the young man sure does get security.

  • It's an MLB deal. He'll get arb and possibly free agency once he's done, assuming he accumulates the service time. Needs to have 6 years of MLB service time before he's a FA.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    So to clarify, hypothetically, if he spends one year in the minors, and then accumulates 6 years of MLB service, this becomes a 7-year, $30mm deal?

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    No, he'd still be under contract. In that scenario, the Cubs would have bought out his first 2 free agent years.

    Just learned he has an opt out clause though where he can choose arbitration once he's in the big leagues. Either way they'll have at least 6 years service time, but if he's good, he'll get expensive.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Any way you slice it, I can't see anyone calling this a bad deal for the Cubs. There is always the chance of a flame-out, but based on what we know now, and the new rules, this was a one-time shot to acquire a talented prospect.

    Have to assume he gets a minimum of 2 years in the system. Start at Peoria this year, on to Winter Ball, Daytona next year. I suppose if things go very well, perhaps Tennessee next year.

    I don't see him getting to Wrigley before 2014 no matter how well he does. The new FO (wisely) seems to like their kids to have a full season at AA or AAA before calling them up.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I think it's a good deal for both sides. The FO was very creative here to get him and minimize their risk.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope he gets arbitration. That means he's a good ballplayer and the Cubs have money for good ballplayers.

    Just forget about getting a no-trade clause, kid! It ain't happening!!

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Agreed. It's sort of a win-win there.

  • Talk about hard work paying off, great job by Theo and Co. And on a 9-year deal? Wow! Things are tough right now, but the future gets brighter every day. *High-fives everyone here*

  • In reply to Ricardo:

    high fives all around!

  • no chair smashing by Theo today .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Not in anger, anyway. Might smash one just for old time's sake.

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Hulk Smash!

  • At just a shade over $3mm/year, this deal will look very good if he makes it the majors as even an average OF-er. Of course, we all hope he's better than that.

    I'd hope that at least ONE of BJax, Almora, and Soler become a "cornerstone piece" piece by 2015. BJax looks to be more of a solid, productive, player type (as opposed to All-Star). So hopefully Almora or Soler can reach their sky-high potential.

    If BJax can be a 3 or 4 WAR, and one of the others a 4+ WAR, I think we'd look pretty good in a few years.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    My money is on Almora being a cornerstone with Jackson being a solid player in LF. Soler is the highest risk.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Would you consider BJax to be a Brett Gardner type player?

  • In reply to Kyle R:

    Very different players. Jackson is much bigger (6'2", 210) with more power while Gardner is smaller (5'10") and faster.

  • Theo and crew have did a GREAT job since taking over . Now they can focus on signing draft picks and trades .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Agreed. Looks like the signings are starting to trickle in, but not their first 4 picks or Conway, which to me where their best selections.

  • What a tremendous boost for the organization and fans. I have been checking Cubs Den every hour since last night; just hoping for this type of great news. I know this has been stated by many readers, but I can't say enough about this site, and the job John and Tom do. I noticed a reader expressed disappointment about the major recaps being put on ice for awhile; but having some positives such as Hot Stove, the Minor League Recaps and Draft info to keep us busy will be refreshing and is certain to keep us engaged! Thanks again for all your efforts!

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    First of all, thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated!

    I've been surfing the web, checking twitter...same for me! Usually when this happens it seems to end badly, but we got our man this time

    Tom and I will still try and do recaps...we may miss a few days because of days like this! But if that's the case, I can live with it.

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Thank you, thank you.

  • John,

    You mention that the international free agency is about that start. When does it begin and what names might the Cubs be looking at? Seeing all the players the Cubs are adding, and how aggressive the front office is, is really enough to get the fan base really excited for the future.

  • In reply to supercapo:

    It starts on July 2nd and I promise I'll have a list for you before then.

  • I'm amazed at when the Cubs have gone with their farm system in less than nine monthes.Last year Jackson was the Cubs #1 prospect and now without regression on his part, he's fourth or fifth.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    You're talking about having five guys now who legitimately could be considered Top 100 overall prospects. If we can get a top 100 for Dempster and a few more for Garza-this farm system is going to be shooting up the charts.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    It is amazing. When it comes to upside Jackson is fifth on this list. Never thought last year that I would say hat unless Jackson had a terrible year -- which he hasn't, of course.

  • Great signing. There's been so much hype in Cubdom about this guy that it would have been painful to see him go elsewhere and then unbearable to watch him become an All-Star for another team.

    It will be interesting to see how he progresses through the system. KLaw was just on ESPN1000 and pointed out that he's probably never seen a steady diet of big league offspeed pitches and he hasn't really played competitive baseball anywhere since 2010. Hopefully people will keep this in mind if he gets off to a slow start!

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    Excellent point; Concepcion struggled out of the gate as well, but seems to be coming around. I read something where Law also said the kid is a top 5 talent; and I have to believe the front office will be patient with him; and place him at a level where he will be able to build some success. Although it probably won't happen; how fired up would Peoria fans be to have Baez, Soler and Almora playing together before the years over?!

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    If those guys play together, I'm heading to Peoria. Road trip!

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Concepcion on the bump tonight, by the way. Let's see if he celebrates the arrival of his countryman (and good friend, reportedly) in style.

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    I think there will be an adjustment period, but I think he'll get through it. My guess is they get him to Peoria as soon as possible with fellow Cubans Gerardo Concepcion and Yasiel Balaguert (Yaniel Cabezas is also Cuban but 3 years older), Always nice to have familiar faces around. He may start in short season leagues before heading out to Peoria.

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    As much as I wanted to downplay it, I would have been very, very disappointed -- much more so than I was with Cespedes.

    Glad we got him.

  • I think we will be looking at free agents for some of our pitching help. Especially #1 and/or #2 starter. And I really like Zeke DeVoss also.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Cubs certainly have the money and are in the right market to do that. Should make rebuilding quicker and make it easier to sustain.

  • My vacation is the last week of June. I'll be 30 minutes west of Appleton and the Chiefs are playing the Timberattlers Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I should make two of those games.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Lucky you. That's about 3 1/2 hours for me. It's an hour shorter for me to just go to Peoria.

  • Keith Law just said on ESPN radio that a case can be made that the Cubs have 5 top 50 overall prospects, with Rizzo, Jackson, Soler, Baez and a signed Almora. Now lets get some pitching for Garza, Dempster, DeJesus, Soto and ( Marmol, well maybe that is asking too much). Don't you just love a little hope.

  • Nice. Thanks for that tidbit. The Cubs went from having one top 50 guy to 5 in just one year's time. Wow.

    And they're just getting started!

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    Now that is fun to hear.

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    First of all, all i have to say is YES,YES,YES. Second is this the longest contract for someone coming into the league for the first time. But anyway GREAT NEWS John, and great news for cubs fans everywhere.

  • In reply to Larry:

    Great news indeed! I don't know if it's the longest year coming into the league, but I'd have to say guess that it is.

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    This may be the biggest news item for Cubs fans all year. Over 95 posts in 2.5 hours. Great job John and Tom as always.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Thanks! It's up there. Most total hits in a day so far was the MLB Draft (3 days were our highest hit total, with 2nd day being our individual record), but this might beat it. This individual news item certainly has more comments.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That being said, a prominent media member called us the "underground" Cubs blog...so I think that's pretty cool too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's awesome John congratulations to you and Tom both. I've worn out my mouse clicking this link in my favorites.

  • In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

    Thanks Bilbo! Appreciate that!

  • No question free agency will play a role in building Threeo's sustained success; the question is-when. This will be a great topic for debate over the next several months/years. When will the front office pull the trigger and bring in some major veterans to assist with this process? I don't think this off-season; or even the following one to the degree many of us would like. These guys seem to have the complete faith of ownership; collectively they have now turned two organizations around(the Padres are getting rave reviews for the rebuild of their farm system); and I'm wondering if these guys are going to wait 2-3 more years before striking hard and big. I would love to get Middlebrooks or Castellanos as part of a Garza deal; but if they keep Castro and Baez ends up slated for 3B at Wrigley in a few years-is a stopgap like Youkilis a more likely guy to act as a bridge?

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    I could see it, actually. I know Sveum would love to bring in a big veteran bat like that. Problem is nowhere to put him if he starts to decline or can't play 3B. I think they'll go cheap stopgap and wait one more year for big FA signings.

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    Wow! I get offline to go take a nap before going into work and wake up to see what happens. AWESOME BABY!!!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Haha! You did miss a doozy. Was wondering where you were!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I did the same thing! Was checking every hour or so to see if there was any news yet, went to sleep shortly after 1...just missed it! This is a great way to wake up however.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I was obsessively watching for news :) Started to leak and there was cautious optimism, then there was the huge explosion on Twitter after he signed. Crazy day.

  • This sounds like a spot on the 40 man will need to be opened up. Any word on the corresponding roster move? DFA Lalli?

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    I'd say that's a pretty safe bet.

  • in 3 or 4 years we will have an outstanding outfeild with speed and power and we cant forget about matt s.

  • In reply to dakota cubs fan:

    Wow...we did forget about Szczur didn't we?

    That being said, Cubs have a lot of talented young OF'ers, if they get 3 good starters out of it, they should consider themselves lucky. We can dream, but as has been mentioned, prospects don't always pan out.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    agreed, stock up on as many impact prospects as possible no matter the position and hope at least one at every position pans out.. I know you dont like player comp but just to get a feel for Almora what player would you say he favors in the majors?

  • As a Cub fan for 35 years and seeing what lack of talent has
    been developed this like a dream come true. Lets hope very
    hard that (1) they sign their top draft picks (2)they can sign
    at least 1 more good international prospect before the July 2 deadline and (3) we can trade our veterans players for some great/good prospects. If this happens I can enjoy my early golden years.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think they'll get at least one more good international prospect simply because of Oneri Fleita and their presence in Latin America. That and they have all that pool money, of course. I think they should get someone comparable to the guys they got last year.

    If the Cubs trade Garza, they should get some great prospects and I think Dempster will land them a top guy as well.

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    Too soon? Just nerding out thinking of the future.

    1 R Almora CF
    2 R Castro SS
    3 R Baez 3B
    4 L Rizzo 1B
    5 R Soler RF
    6 L Jackson LF
    7 R Lake 2B
    8 R Castillo C

    1
    2 Garza
    3 Samardzija
    4
    5 Wood

  • In reply to Ryan Kalasz:

    It's never to soon to nerd out.

    I like the lineup, If Lake can play 2B and continue to hit the way he has, it'd be a huge bonus. Just need to fill in a couple of those rotation spots.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I read an article from espn a few weeks ago talking about the Cubs possibly having interest in Hamels over the winter. Although I believe southern Cali might be his next destination as it's his hometown, he'd be great as our 1 and maybe even McNutt/Maples as the 4. And that lineup is obviously excluding free agents. Exciting times for Cubs fans. I just hope (I'm confident they will) they stay the course. We've waiting this long. A few more years won't hurt when we're yearly contenders.

  • In reply to Ryan Kalasz:

    Really agree with that last statement. I'm not optimistic on Hamels. He's got the youth they want but I think they'll waiit one more year to try and land the big fish.

  • HAPPY SOLER DAY!!!!!

  • In reply to Eddie:

    First the MLB Draft, now Soler...this is great.

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    does it still irk anyone as much as it still does me that Starlin Castro got called up so ridiculously early that its going to cost us years and millions of dollars on him, all for what???? Why did they even bring him up so soon? he could be coming up with Rizzo and co. right now....I believe this will bite us in the arse one day. The curse of Hendry looms on.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    He did get called up early because Hendry had to prove a point. But I think there is no way they could have kept him down this long. AAA pitching would have presented no challenge for him or opportunity to get better. Castro was going to force his way up by the next season at the latest-- but it still would have saved a year. He also could have been called up just a couple months later to avoid Super 2 status.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    yes John that is what I alluding to just couldnt put it on paper. I'm more irritated about the super 2 situation as well as saving the 1 extra year. Hendry could have at least waited a few months to avoid the super 2. He wanted to help out a bit before he left but his last big decision actually hurt us......sad.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    It did hurt, even a couple of months would have helped, wouldn't have hurt to let him tear up AAA for a year, either.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    ahh but with that extra time you can speculate on Castro's chances of getting 3000 hits.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Oh no...you're baiting me on this one, right? :)

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Unless he really starts hitting for power I'm not so sure he's going to cost that much. I could see him making low teens maybe eventually but on his 2nd contract. Where he currently is and where he'll be in 3 years I can't see him breaking the bank on a contract. Maybe $5 or $6 million on his first extension deal

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    Not if he gets on the open market at 27 as one of the better hitting SS in baseball.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope he does, but at the moment I can't see any team offering him $8+ million to be a single/double hitter any time soon. And remember, Edgar Renteria got way over paid when he signed with the Red Sox and that's the kind of power production were hoping for right?

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    A plus hitter and improving defender at a premium position? Value last year per WAR was $15.4M and that was with bad defense.

    Value per WAR so far this year is already over $8M and we're in early June.

    SS's are valued at a premium, SSs that can hit are extremely valuable.

    You'd have to assume he regresses and/or can't stay at SS to get a major deal

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    I can see him start hitting for power though. That inside pitch he drove down the lf line the other day seemed new for him. Twins announcers were talking about how a lot of times power develops last and how Kirby Puckett was always a great hitter but without much power and then 3 or 4 years in the bigs, he developed that big leg kick and started hitting them out.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Agreed. I think it'll come and it'll come naturally.

  • Need to find prospects to fill up the bullpen because that's where we need serious help.

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    John, Levine reported that Soler, when he would hit arbitration, can actually become a free agent.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That doesn't make any sense. I have to think he's mistaken here.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Just saw this on Baseball Tonight as well, but a slight revision: He can opt for arbitration in his arb-eligible years. So if he's a stud, he can get his payday during his arbitration-eligible years. If he sucks, he still gets paid roughly $3.3mm/year (30mm/9 years).

    So essentially, the Cubs gave him an annual put option @ $3.3MM for his arb-eligible years.

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    I'll be curious to see the Cubs 25 man roster come 2013 opening day. With Sept callups in mind it may not take 3-4 years to become a decent ballclub again.

    John, I know you hear it all the time, but you and Tom are fantastic with this blog. Between my oldest son and I, we check it all the time.

    Great Job guys! (now I'll do the Snoopy dance too,,, lmao)

  • In reply to Henry Wilfong:

    Thanks Henry! I'll do the Snoopy dance as well.

  • What's nice is it looks like the Cubs may finally have some depth. John,you mentioned Szczur before. 3 months ago our only minor league outfield prospects were BJax and Szczur. Now we add Almora & Soler.

    A few years ago we hung all of our hopes on a Pie or a Patterson, because there was nothing else. If half of these prospects make it, add in some FA's and they have a good nucleus. Wait til 14!

  • In reply to Munce:

    Exactly, there's depth now so they can withstand some attrition for once.

  • John - did we sign the wrong Soler (LOL) http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/09/sports/baseball-notebook-cuban-defector-is-close-to-signing-with-mets.html

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Ha! You scared me for a second. I remember that signing, though. I know his agent.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Speaking of agents, a former coworker of mine was sitting in a barber's shop waiting for his turn and he met an sports agent who lives in Danville,Ca. When told the agent told him he repped a lot of baseball players, my friend told him his daughter is named Wrigley. The agent said that he knows someone that would love to hear that and pulled out his cellphone, hit redial and said "listen to this story" to the guy who he called. He handed the phone to my friend and said "tell that story to Theo Epstein".

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Wow..very cool!

  • pierce johnson just said on twitter he has sighed with the cubs

  • In reply to dakota cubs fan:

    Thanks, Dakota, just added that as part of minor league recap!

  • Now Pierce Johnson signs. I feel like it's Thanksgiving and I've eaten too much. But, "Thank you Sir... I'll have another." When it rains it pours and it's raining in Wrigleyville.

  • I've been a bit of a lurker lately, never quite sure what to say...

    Very happy with the Soler signing, from the beginning I found Cespedes the least interesting of the top 3 Cubans and I still like Concepcion regardless of results. Saw one comment that his struggles are due to him working on his fastball, but his slider and change would dominate the lower levels.

    It also looks like the Cubs bullpen should have some pretty impressive arms within the next year or two, which has been a major weak point this year.

    Even though there's more losing this year, the team seems to care more and there's more of a drive to win.

    Also, I love Soriano more than ever. He's become coachable (did anyone even try previously) defensively and has also adjusted his approach at the plate and has played through pain without complaint. He's also got a beautiful swing.

    Lots of excitement around the organization right now, and I'm enjoying the change in the culture.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    Interesting about Concepcion. That might make sense as to why he's getting pounded at times. Throwing almost exclusively fastballs forces you to locate. I guess I'll assume he's junked his curve. Got mixed reviews anyway and was never consistent.

    I've actually enjoyed this year more than the last two, if only because it's nice to have an organization that seems to have direction.

  • Just got done scanning all these comments and have to say thank you for all the nice things everyone said. I am so excited about Soler, I think this is a legit building block. He and Rizzo could be the 3/4 hitters for years to come. I can't help but think of a young Vlad or Dawson when I think about Soler, sounds like he has some comparable tools.

  • Great coverage, as always, John. And indeed a great Cubs day. And Rizzo hit 2 more dingers, as dessert for us!

    Missed a lot of the Soler stuff, since I'm on the other side of the world, but wanted to comment (on what must be one of the biggest Cubs Den threads of all time).

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    It's been like Christmas today and with the trades we all anticipate coming, it's like we haven't opened our gifts from Dad's side of the family yet., regardless of the record, it's a great time to be a Cubs fan, this front office means business!!!

  • It's also worth noting, IMO, that the Cubs got a much better deal with Soler than the A's got with Cespedes.

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