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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  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 13 min 30 sec ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 1 hour 10 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 1 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 3 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 13 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 6 hours 56 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 11 hours 41 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 11 hours 42 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 21 hours 23 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 1 day 21 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 1 day 33 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 1 day 42 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 1 day 48 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view