Cespedes Was Overrated, Soler is the New Flavor of the Month

I was trying to get my prospect list-mania article up and then Firefox ate half my work. I'll save it for a future date. In the meantime, now that the A's have signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a 4/$36M deal, I'm comfortable calling him totally overrated. Jorge Soler is the real prize of the Cuban "draft class" and the guy the Cubs should be pursuing. I'm kidding around of course, Cespedes would have been a nice get for the Cubs, but it was not meant to be. The latest report was that the Cubs were now stepping up their pursuit of Soler with a to try and land him. That report is from the same guy that said Marlins were the clear frontrunner for Cespedes as of yesterday, so salt meet grain. Of course, if I understand this correctly, Soler hasn't been declared eligible yet nor established residency, so certainly more teams will be rumored to be involved once that all falls in line. The last I heard on the timetable was to expect something around the start of the season.

Baseball Prospectus . On the topic of Soler, Goldstein says he'd rank him #38/#39 depending if you count Cespedes as a prospect. As for the Cubs, Brett Jackson at #44, Javier Baez at #66 and Anthony Rizzo at #75. Former Cub Hak-Ju Lee at #65 on his list.

Thanks for all the feedback on the survey over the weeked, a lot of good ideas in there and a lot of nice complements as well.

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Comments

For 9M per year, he only has to be above average in order for this to be good deal, and if so, the A's will trade him for three more prospects.

Very good points. And totally sounds like what the Cubs should have done, as a minimum. I mean, fucking Oakland?!? I thought that was a typo at first. And by definition, there was no bidding war if the guy agreed to Oakland, because they don't win bidding wars. Only thing I can fathom, he (Ces) was scared off by the Windy City, and when his agent told TheHoyStein, that's when they suddenly weren't interested anymore and focused on Soler. Sun + Playing Time are the only things that make sense to me...?

4 years was the key. Report was they were asking for either 4 year deals or 8-10 year deals. He's hoping to cash in on another good deal at Age 30 rather than hitting the market again at age 32.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.p... Re: Soler Kevin Goldstein: Classic RF profile. Tons of raw power, good arm, good overall athlete. Would be single digit pick in the draft. 25-27.5 million. Re: Vogelbach's weight Kevin Goldstein: Nobody is going to care about the weight if he mashes. The problem is, like any 1B prospect, he HAS to mash, or he's just not much of a prospect. Re: Baez at SS Kevin Goldstein: It's way less than 50%. Maybe 10% at best. He's a 3B, maybe 2B in the end.

Goldstein doesn't like Szczur, looking at the tweet box.

neither does Law

Nobody knows what Szczur is going to do yet. He's done great for playing his first years dedicated to ball. Doesn't necessarily mean he'll get better and doesn't mean he won't get better. I'm sure they just don't want to talk him up and then potentially look bad--most prospects don't make it to the majors anyway, so a bet against is always a safer bet.

look at worst positions last year http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php... remarkably Cubs aren't mentioned other than Rizzo was part of Padres 1b crew. Fukudome mentioned for his time with Indians.

That pic is fucken awesome.

Incredible... +1

I think it would be funny if Soler got more thn Cespedes.

I think it is possible that Soler gets more than Cespedes. I suspect that Cespedes hurt his market price by insisting on free agency after the contract ends, which he reportedly demanded from every team.

the only way Soler gets more is if it's a 10-year deal, which isn't happening. Cespedes is essentially major league ready, Soler has 2-3 years of minor league time that you're not gonna pay more than a couple million for. can't imagine it would top 6/30 for Soler

wonder what the cubs want to do with randy wells... also, "Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that the Cubs are interested in signing right-hander Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract." also also, derek holland needs to be on TV more... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8WffdHiLzo

That was like the ol 96er... Started out good, got kinda sick to my stomach, and I couldn't finish it

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect... says Concepcion would be #19 on their Cubs rankings between Reggie Golden Jae-Hoon Ha. The 19-year-old stands out more with his advanced feel for pitching than he does for his pure stuff. His fastball ranges from 86-92 mph and his curveball ranges from inconsistent to solid. "If everything works out," one scout said, "maybe he becomes Randy Wolf." 7M dollars people...

I sometimes read MLBTR to feel better about myself, but I appreciated this exchange: Josh Batelli: "People forgot one thing: Never count out Billy Beane on ANYTHING." michael: "Except winning."

well-played michael of the Internet

Actually LOL'd +1

Well, Randy Wolf in his prime would certainly be worth $7MM in today's market. Team Theo have correctly calculated that lefty pitchers are more valuable in Wrigley than righties, so the only negative I see with the Concepcion signing is the 40-man slot aspect, that seems kind of dumb. Also, why the lack of interest at BA on Reggie Golden? The guy mashes, big-time. Sure, there are still question marks, but the #18 prospect in the Cubs system? No way. I'd have him closer to 11 or 12. If I recall, AZP is pretty high on Golden, and I'm pretty confident he's seen Reggie play a lot more than have anyone at BA.

probably cause Golden came into camp out of shape last year and strikes out a ton. .240 BA in the minors is not really promising.

In his other prospects to watch column Keith Law was actually fairly complementary of Golden. Perhaps it was a bit of damning with faint praise but he was impressed with how Golden made adjustments over the course of the year recognizing off speed stuff.

One year Rob. He also posted a 420 SLG as a 19-yo in his first pro season. I just think there's more promise there than a #18 prospect ranking would suggest. I thought the low minors, teenager prospects were supposed to be rated primarily on ceiling, and not early results?

each guy/publication is going to rate them on their own subjective criteria... a 25.6% K rate in Boise is particularly troubling for me, that's a lot of swing and miss for a guy that's 5-10". I know he projects for some power, but I don't think it's easy 30 HR power that could justify that many K's. But yes, it's early...hopefully he's taking it more seriously and will come into camp in shape.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/Whither... Cubs deny it, but it's a pretty loaded denial “I have never heard of a done deal of moving home games to the 'Cell,” said Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for the Ricketts family odd way of phrasing it... allegedly if they find money to renovate Wrigley, that could be the plan.

if the evil ex-president-still-president-but-technically-sub-president can push through the renovation deal there's a chance it may not be completed by opening day, but the team would not be happy about losing revenue so if it is the case i'd imagine it'd be a short-term possibility rather than a year-long reality. they want to dig up 1/4 of the field to build underground space...amongst other things.

I wouldn't mind it for a season. I could actually take the grill with me, rather than paying out the ass for sub-standard bar food. The Cell is a better option than Miller Park. And if it's better for Wrigley in the long run, so be it. Plus I know it would piss off Hawk Harrelson, so that's a good thing.

loss of revenue from playing at the Cell would tie in nicely with Cubs rebuilding effort and lower payrolls the next 2 years... piss off a lot of folks, but if it means the Cubs win 86 or more games from that point on, I certainly can live with it. Sucks for the old timers though...

speaking of pissing off folks...wait til the cubs get the city to pay for part of the renovation...again.

When did city pay for Wrigley renovation?

oh yeah, they never got their amusement tax raise/redistribution. my bad. they just got new support for it from the new mayor in town.

The Cubs actually deserve some city and state help, as they are the #1 attraction in Illinois. F' Reinsdorf and the Cell.

pepper hastings! ha. that's a name that hasn't shown itself in years. also, neat about KC being the only team that couldn't get a fan to send in a number. fwiw, KC had the highest MLB payroll in 1990...all $23m of it...lulz.

That's badass, thanks Rob

Wow, that twitter link makes the Soler signing sound like a done deal...

Trib's Dave Van Dyke article sounds like the Cubs on the verge of signing Soler... not sure if I'm reading too much into his phraseology:
When the winter began, there were three major Cubans who could become free agents, and the Cubs appear to have landed two of them , although not the top-rated one. The Cubs are expected to add 19-year-old outfielder Jorge Soler after acquiring 19-year-old pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, according to multiple reports from the Dominican Republic, where Soler is staying. Concepcion was signed earlier, although the Cubs have not announced it. Soler is waiting for official clearance from MLB before being declared a free agent, although he can be signed.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

jinx, buy me a hooker

Seems a bit misleading

Hopefully a mystery team won't come in an eclipse the Cubs.

someone tweeted that the Score has confirmed the report...take that for what it's worth. Still confused by it all since he hasn't established residency or any of those other hoops that Cespedes went through. one report was 3-4 year deal in the 27.5M range (egads). That better not include a get out of jail free card like Cespedes deals does.

Goldstein seems to believe it as well. https://twitter.com/Kevin_Goldstein answered my questions too... They just agree to. Agent did same w/ Maya, Hechavarria. RT @Hopjake: @Kevin_Goldstein how can the Cubs sign him when he not FA? I believe he has agreed, just can't officially sign yet. RT @davidrelliott: @Kevin_Goldstein Sarcasm on Soler? Or you think he IS a Cub? and more likely a 3-4 year deal, but unlike Cespedes won't be allowed to become a free agent. Cubs will still have him for the full 6 years of major league service time.

Goldstein says its a done deal now too, so yeah, I think it's time to get excited about this signing.......he says it's a 4-year deal but NOT with accruing service time, NOR does he gain free agency at the end of the 4 years. So it's akin to other Latin signings, Cespedes is the exception. Apparently, Soler's agent did similar deals with other Latin players in the past. Cubs and Soler agree to deal, they just wait on residency to formalize it. KLaw puts Soler as the Cubs #2 behind BJax, Goldstein puts Soler #1. I think I'd be comfortable putting him at #4 behind BJax, Rizzo and Baez, but regardless, it looks like we just added a top 50 prospect to the system, bravo Team Theo!

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  • bradsbeard 10 hours 27 min ago (view)

    Things won't get easier for him pitching outside of the former AT&T park, though Chase isn't the band box it was before they installed a humidor a couple years ago. 

     

  • crunch 11 hours 23 min ago (view)

    dbacks snag m.bumgarner for 5/85m (17m/yr).

    didn't realize he'd be coming that cheaply.  the longball stung him last year, but he was healthy and his stuff looked good when it wasn't flying over a fence.

     

  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    MLB is very much swinging their power over minor league teams around.

     

  • tim815 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Normally, it's because the minor fee they receive is of more value than they think they will be able to acquire later.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    My, the negotiations for a new comprehensive agreement between MLB and MiLB are sounding nasty all of a sudden!  I'd be interested in other takes on this.  It's easy to see the risks on the MiLB side.  I wonder though, if MLB isn't playing with fire as far as the antitrust exemption goes?  In case Trump isn't president in January, 2021, the MLB owners lose a friend.  We've already heard from Sanders and Warren supporting MiLB on this -- which is pretty amazing, considering how many bigger problems this country has -- and one can guess where mayor Pete stands.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    I'm also thinking they really didn't anticipate losing two players in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and wanted to have more flexibility to pick guys, and they maybe figured Carrera had a better shot to go unpicked. It is a little surprising that the talent rich Rays are the ones who grabbed him. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    It's just strange because they had space. maybe they thought no one would have wanted him?

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Best I can think is that maybe he was going to be squeezed out of a starting role next year with 2019 draftees and other lower level pitching pushing up into A ball. Doesn't seem like a great reason, but the pitching in the system is getting more crowded each year.

     

  • crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    i truly wonder why f.carrera wasn't more of a priority.

    he throws straight up junk, but he's got great control and command over his pitchers.  he's young enough that he could find some more velocity, too.

    i mean, this is a management team that decided to trade for dan haren and kyle hendricks.  they don't have an aversion to slow-tossing starters.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Has anyone else noticed James Norwood's picture on the Cubs top 30 prospects page is actually Brandon Kintzler?

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    It's always interesting to see how many players each MLB club protects on its AAA affiliate's 38-man reserve list on 11/20.

    I'm not saying it absolutely and necessarily proves what a club thinks of its own prospects, but there are 38 slots available on a AAA reserve list, and if you leave 15 slots open, I think that does say something, especially when you don't lose anybody in either the MLB Phase or in the AAA Phase. (I'm looking at you, Seattle Mariners!) 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Instructs starts next month. The pitching lab operates year round, so guys are always coming & going. 

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Phil, when does the Instructional program begin? Are there pitchers in the pitching lab now?

     

  • cubbies.4ever 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years.