We first told you about Jorge Soler back in November, so it's been a long wait. Now, just before the draft and weeks before he would have fallen under the new CBA rules, Soler was officially declared a free agent according Ken Rosenthal,
Source: Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, 20, is now a free agent, eligible to sign with any club...He had been waiting to be cleared by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The Cubs are known to be heavily interested in signing Soler and many in the industry view them as the favorites. The Cubs had earmarked a lot of money on the draft and free agency, some say 3x the amount or more that they will be allowed to spend now under the new CBA. That means they probably won't be shy about bidding for Soler, perhaps even overbidding to make sure they add a potential impact talent. This is their last chance to bid freely.
Soler is a potential power hitting RF with a great arm, above average athleticism and speed, and some surprising patience at the plate at times. Keith Law tweeted that he'd be a top 5-8 pick in this year's draft if eligible.
The Cubs have become something of preferred destination for Cuban free agents. This year they signed 3 players, most notably Gerardo Concepcion, who is reportedly friends with Soler, and Yasiel Balaguert, who flanked him in the OF for the Cuban youth team. The other signee this year was RHP Carlos Martinez.
Other recent signees include LHP Franke Del Valle, C Yaniel Cabezas, and OFs Rubi Silva and Elisier Bonne.
With the Cub need for impact talent, they'll be in on this all the way. We'll keep you posted as always.
UPDATE: We may not have to wait as long as we think. According to Kevin Goldstein...
Source indicates that Jorge Soler's agent, Barry Praver, has requested that offers for his client be submitted by Thursday, June 7.
Technically, according to BA's Ben Badler, Soler isn't 100% free. He must still obtain what's called an "unblocking" license. But that seems to be a formality. MLB wouldn't announce the free agency without knowing that will be taken care of soon.