Cubs Go Solar

This all seems still seems a little less than 100%, but there was a report early in the evening from the Tribune and Dave van Dyck saying the Cubs are "expected" to sign Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler according to "multiple reports" from the Dominican (it's more fun if you read that with air quote hand gestures).  The folks at Cub Hub seemed to have heard from the Score confirming the deal. Kevin Goldstein has no reason not to believe the reports, saying Soler's agent made similar agreements with other players he's represented before they offiicially became available to sign. Soler of course has yet to complete the legal gymnastics that Cespedes had to go through, so any confirmation from the Cubs is probably not going to come anytime in the near future. One report is suggesting a 3-4 year deal in the $27.5M range. The difference in that deal to Cespedes is that Soler would not get the clause in his contract where the club would not offer arbitration or auto-renew him once the deal is completed, meaning he'd be under the Cubs control for 6 full years of major league service time which doesn't start until he makes his major league debut. Once the initial contract runs out, he'd either sign a new one or just default to either pre-arbitration or arbitration depending on where he's at with his service time, similar to what Jeff Samardzija is going through right now.

Presuming it's all true, the Cubs added two blue chip prospects to their stable of minor leaguers this offseason. Most agree that Soler would easily be a top 5 pick in the draft. He plays center now, but most think he'll outgrow the position and will end up in right field. He's got a plus arm and good speed so it doesn't sound like defense will be much of an issue. Soler stands at 6-3" and 205 pounds at the moment  and BA compared him favorably to recent Royals draft pick Bubba Starling saying Soler has "explosive bat speed and power potential" with "five-tool potential".

Goldstein said he'd jump to #1 on his Cubs prospect list, Keith Law would put him second behind Brett Jackson. Goldstein earlier said he'd be around #38/#39 on his top 101 of major league prospects.

And for what it's worth, it's allegedly pronounced So-Lair, but that's not so good for the puns and renewable power jokes.

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Comments

no mlb contract...woo.

lot of loot and faith in investment, though.

Seems like a very fair deal especially considering future spending caps. I'm happy.

Seems the Cubs have addressed the lack of power in the system-- in the past year they've added/will add Soler, Rizzo, Vogelbach, Shoulders, and Baez. What legit power prospects did they have before that? Golden? Vitters?

Rebel Ridling? Michael Burgess? Not much, obviously.

Brooks Kieschnick? Earl Cunningham? Ryan Harvey?
Lol..

I heard Brooks Kieschnick on the radio the other day saying, "This is lifetime Longhorn Brooks Kieschnick and you're listening to ..." whatever the hell the sports radio station is out here in the Austin area.

I never understood the handling of Kieschnick...he hits .295/.370/.495 in AAA in 1995...he gets 100 PA's in 1997...and that's it? From your #1 draft pick?
Ugh.

Did he break Japanese records too??

Oh wait...

Can Soler pitch ?

"Golden? Vitters?"

At 23, Richard Jones was a little old for the Midwest League, but he was the second-best slugger (.538 SLG, .900 OPS) in the Cub minors, after LaHair.

Theo has done more in the last few months to strengthen the farm system than all the years of McPhail and Hendry combined. Finally someone gets it in the front office.

That and I believe they are much better talent evaluators than anyone else before them.

Agreed. The combination of little hope for this season but enormous hope for the future is something I haven't experienced since the players Dallas Green drafted were moving through the system.

Of course, at that point, Green was already gone and Jim Frey was going about a destruction of the farm system from which it has never fully recovered.

I concur. Little by little, the farm system is being resurrected and they are clearly going to continue acquiring young talent which will give us a perennial playoff contender.

That and I believe they are much better talent evaluators than anyone else before them.

Although that's a little like saying vacations are more pleasant in California than in Antarctica. I have to give Ricketts a little credit here. When he bought the team he emphasized building the team from the ground up. You hear that a lot, so skepticism was understandable. Then, last off season, he dumped all kinds of coin on the draft, even spending wads of money on Dillon Maples, who I guess everyone else thought was unsignable. Then he hired The TheoCorp, who do seem much better at player evaluation than Hendry was, especially with position players (Hendry was actually pretty good with pitching). Now, he's given the go ahead to TheoCorp to spend heavily on Soler, which is good because the window for that kind of activity is closing fast.

He hasn't made a big splash in free agency, but I pretty much felt decade long contracts to first basemen isn't a very good idea, so I don't blame him there, and other than those two, there really isn't much out there that I'm thinking, "damn, I wish they'd sign that guy".

This is all good stuff. I doubt Soler will make his way to Triple A right away but I hope he does, since I live near Round Rock in Texas and they'll be playing the Iowa Cubs at home a few times this year.

you watch him vs. the i-cubs there O&B; i'll check him out vs. the express here (IF they ever actually sign him)!

I know it is easy to just bag on Hendry, but this isn't a true statement. Look at some of the early 2000 top 100 lists. They have a bunch of Cubs on them. There were 6 in 2001 and 7 in 2002 and 5 in 2003 and 6 in 2004. Where you really saw a decline is after Hendry became GM. After his drafted and signed guys were gone and stockilledthesystem took over.

I was probably more excited about Green's minor leaguers than those of the early 2000s because I saw a lot of them play in Peoria and Iowa. Also, overall, they were just better players.

Okay, I guess I am happy with this outcome. Now what? Anyone see anything else happening before the last couple weeks of spring training?

I'm keeping my eye on Byrd and Soriano. Given any chance to unload these guys before Opening Day, I think they will take what they can get. I also think they will extend Garza, which will make him easier to trade and more valuable at the Deadline.

Soriano is to the Cubs what MySpace.com was to News Corporation before they sold it to Justin Timberlake for pennies on the dollar.

Well played

Cubs still need to sign Soler. It's not a guarantee by any means that they have him.

White Sox finally got Fukudome...

Then I will not throw out my Chunichi Fuke jersey.

Hahaha

Brewers missed out. Figured with Braun suspension looming that Mr. April would be the perfect fit there.

Do the White Sox have any Japanese players on the big club any longer?

Tad Iguchi and Shingo Takatsu.

Haha. Two guys that helped them get a ring in 2005. Although, Takatsu didn't last too long.

There's going to be a two foot deep gulch in lh batters box this summer w fuku and Donn spinning in there.

Levine on Espn

Jackson & Rizzo could be up in June
Theo comp prospect and cash, no one big

Garza- if yanks, BoSox, angels lose pitcher to injury in ST cubs would want big package . Otherwise 5/65 like Danks

Levine's right. Jackson and Rizzo could be up in June. Or they could be up sooner. Or later. Barring any situations arising which don't allow them to be up in June. Or sooner. Or later.

HAHA!

Well played.

Bruce would approve. Perhaps.

But maybe not.

Probably.

What was the final outcome of Blake DeWitt? Is he a FA now?

likely no one put a waiver claim in (believe AZ Phil said they have 3 days to do so). From there, they have 10 days total to decide on outrighting him or releasing him. Considering DeWitt probably wants to keep his $1.1M, he'll probably accept the outright.

Now twitter is all aflutter about Soler not being close to being a done deal. The Tribune is getting really good at pushing out scoops before they happen. I'm beginning to trust it like I trust the National Enquirer.

fwiw, there's no way Cubs can confirm it at this point and that means any MLB sources can't confirm either since no paperwork has been filed.

that's true, about the paperwork, but I still don't trust the Trib much these days. Van Dyke usually is ok though. It's really hard to know. Does Soler have a twitter account?

Carrie Muskat @CarrieMuskat Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
#Cubs are interested in Jorge Soler but rumors that team has contract set ** not true**. Lots of teams with interest in Cuban OF

Wonder if Soler's agent has a prior biz relationship with HoyStein?

Soler's agent is Barry Paver-- also Z's agent.

FWIW-- Kap says that reported 4/$27.5 deal is "ludicrous." So add 4/27.5 (=ridiculous - laughable - absurd - funny - comical) to the TCR lexicon. Or if, as I suspect, Kaplan is diametrically wrong as usual, then 4/27.5 means ridiculous but true.

Haha! Um in this case ludicrously high or low?

The Enquirer has a better international desk.

@jorgearangure: On Soler/Cubs. Both sides may have a deal, but would now have to give impression they don't because it's against US and MLB rules
Shared via TweetCaster

There it is. I was awaiting Az Phil's input, but I figured there would be at least smoke there

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

BA on potential rules violations if there is a deal.

...would be potentially subject to an OFAC fine and, in theory, disciplinary action from MLB.

Even if there is proof on this count, this might just be a slap on the wrist.

I have a feeling this shit would be hard to prove definitively.

http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/02/14/ch...

Anyone else been hearing anything about this? First I'd heard of it... Cubs renovation plans might involve sharing Sox' park for a season....

It's so 2/13. Was on the NBC news last night.

Wow, I didn't know anyone still watched the evening news...

i'm a ron paul fan. you can't trust LAMEstream media.

i get my news from ContrailsKill98 and EndTheFedSchoolSucks at youtube like all sane people.

wake up sheeple! (tm)

in the comments of the last thread...

Neighbor works at Cell, said still very much a rumor

this might just be a slap on the wrist.
---
Theo under house arrest or just ankle bracelets?

"this might be a slap on the wrist."

According to Nick Cafardo, the Cubs will have to send Soler, Castro and Garza to Red Sox for punishment.

ha.

Nice.

Recent comments

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  • Sigh.

    Ok... maybe.

    Ryno 24 min 22 sec ago view
  • With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?

    bradsbeard 26 min 24 sec ago view
  • Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.

    Hagsag 29 min 29 sec ago view
  • This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.

    The E-Man 32 min 43 sec ago view
  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 1 hour 53 min ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 29 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 4 hours 20 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 5 hours 12 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 8 hours 53 sec ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 9 hours 13 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 9 hours 37 min ago view