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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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.

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  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 3 min 12 sec ago view
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    QuietMan 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 58 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 4 hours 18 min ago view