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.